Daily Archive: March 27, 2014

More Eating Your Own Dog Food And Daily Builds

I have just been reading an article on the importance of scheduling and bug and feature tracking in software projects.  Its a good article and worth a read, but its basic stuff really.  However its often the basic stuff that gets neglected so don’t dismiss it on that basis.  Anyway the article prompted me to think a bit more on the benefits of eating your own dogfood and regular/daily builds. 

The key thing I missed in the previous article was the importance of the process to managing compromise, and often that compromise takes the form of cutting or dropping features in order to deliver to time and budget.  The daily build/dogfood approach helps with this as follows:

  1. First it’s pretty key on all projects to put the basic platform elements in place first. These are the foundation elements upon which everything is built; they need to be the most reliable and therefore tested for the longest period.  They are also needed normally before any realistic dogfood environment can be created.  In my desktop example this basic building block would be a stable system image, with a core set of applications.

  2. From that point onwards you are into the features management game.  Using …

Daily Builds Applied To Systems Integration Projects.

The last post has got me thinking more about the whole concept of daily builds.  I mentioned in passing that the concept is not just applicable to software development but I did not explain the comment.  I went out for a walk and started to think through how the concept could be applied to a systems integration project.  The one I chose is quite topical for me at the moment, a Windows XP desktop refresh and desktop management project.


So first let’s look at some characteristics of this sort of project:


  1. A standard system image that needs to be deployed tens of thousands of times to many different types of hardware

  2. The need to deploy thousands of applications on top of this standard system image, and to deploy these applications hundreds or thousands of times

  3. The need to access seamlessly thousands of file, print, authentication, management and application servers

  4. An environment that tens of thousands of users will use for perhaps 2-3 hours a day on average, this means hundreds of millions of pounds of deliverables depend on its usability and reliability


So let’s look at the daily, (or perhaps regular), build process and …