|By Jesse Randall Warden||
|April 14, 2009 10:30 PM EDT||
This entry is about utilizing branches for each developer in Subversion, Merge Day, and how while cool, it’s an ivory tower process.
Note: This isn’t a tenet of the Agile methodology itself, it’s just something that works well when you have a bunch of developers collaborating together rapidly, and a specific workflow our client requested we follow.
We’re utilizing a Branch Workflow on my current project. What this means is that each developer creates their own branch in Subversion. If you’re utilizing Tortoise SVN on PC or Versions on Mac, this is effectively a folder. As you may know, Subversion has 3 default folders that you typically utilize in a repository, and hopefully each project gets its own repository. These are branches, tags, and trunk.
Some people choose to ignore these. Some put multiple projects into the same repo. Both are fine because the mere fact people are utilizing source control in the first place, even if its just for disaster recovery, is great.
These folders, however, really do have a few reasons for their existence that have been well thought out. Each source control system tries to out-do the next. In Subversions case, the simple definitions are trunk is for the current version of your project, tags are for multiple older versions of your project, and branches are for experimental features or code that will possibly be merged back into trunk later.
Those are EXTREMELY simple definitions. If you read the SVN book as well as other people who incorporate SVN into their workflow, the definitions and purposes can get quite complex. For the project I’m currently on, branches take on a new meaning. Not only are they where experimental code goes, but they each represent a user story. Meaning, if I’m working on completing the user story where the user can modify their hardware device settings via a Flex form, that’ll go in it’s own branch. Using source control to do this is pretty straight forward. Instead of checking in here:
You instead check-in here:
And the other developer with me would be working from:
Pretty easy right? It gets even easier to check in. No more, “Dude, have you checked your shiz in?” to another developer, or the cardinal rule of doing an update before checking in. Now you can check in to your hearts content knowing it’s your own repo to abuse how you wish.
This has the side benefit of NOT breaking trunk… usually. Again, the point of having frozen code you KNOW for a fact works is to use a tag, or a series of tagged builds. A lot of developers get seriously bent out of shape if you break the trunk. At one job, whoever broke the trunk had to use this monkey icon for their IM icon for one week. It was funny until the 50th person asked why I had a silly monkey icon, and by that point, I was swearing I’d never break ANY trunk ever again. This can possibly have the effect of keeping ‘em happy. At the very least, this reduces the possibility of it happening because no one is working from trunk.
Instead, you check into trunk at the end of every sprint, or for my team, from Merge Day onwards.
Part of Agile is to have a day a few days before your UAT where everyone merges their working user stories into the same code base and “works out the kinks”. Since everyone was coding in a different direction, this can be good and bad. Good because they are working on completely unrelated things, but in GUI coding, we all know some things are extremely related. Specifically, these are your data model in the form of ValueObjects, calls to a framework such as the use of Event classes in Cairngorm and PureMVC Mediators, and modifying settings in higher level view’s or CSS.
Since this can potentially have major consequences for some portions of a user story, or set of stories, it’s important to devote a pre-scheduled time where the team knows their code will be merged with everyone else’s code. This is called Merge Day on my project and it happens every other Wednesday. I take my branch and my co-workers, and merge his code into mine. Then, I fix things that explode. This could be as simple as just merging code over, or a complex verbal discussion to work towards resolving 2 different implementations. No code is trivial. If another developer added a style to MXML for example, setting the background color may seem small to you, but could be the difference between working or non-working code for the other developer’s code, so its important you do these merges together.
Once that is done, I merge into trunk, test again, fix explosions, and finally check in the working build. I then upload a new build, or in the case of my current project, deploy a new build in a new sandbox utilizing Django’s web interface. It can deploy to the web the latest bin-release that’s checked into SVN by merely clicking a button. I’ll send an email to all members of the team identifying what’s new in the build. This includes user stories, fixed bugs, and other things of note that are different from previous builds.
For fellow developers, this is a courtesy. For Project Managers, it’s a necessity for them to set client expectations for Friday’s UAT. For everyone it’s a Sprint milestone as well as reality check. You can identify what user stories are done, which ones aren’t, what older ones you may have broken, and which current ones have issues. You can then plan with your team what to spend the next day and a half on. This is also where the rules can potentially break down. What I’ll usually do is check my local copy into a new branch, and either fix partially completed or broken user stories, or just finish what I can. The temptation here is to abandon branches since you only have a day and a half and it isn’t worth the trouble; just don’t break trunk in the meantime.
…riiiight. The last thing you want to have happen the day before UAT is get all stressed out because trunk is broken. To me, it’s worth the extra time in using the process to ensure your UAT prep goes smoothly. I’m conservative.
I say that all high and mighty like, but on Sprint #2, I did just that. Did I get lucky or was it just mad skillz? Luck.
Now, all of the above processes could have been done with just utilizing trunk. As you can hopefully see utilizing a branch for each developer, or multiple since creating a new folder is really easy, helps things go a lot smoother without surprises. You can also plan for the chaos on Merge Day, which while extremely stressful for whoever is doing the merging, is at least expected and a concerted team effort. I really have enjoyed the Branch Workflow so far.
…however, I don’t see it catching on. Every Flash & Flex developer I’ve ever talked to doesn’t use branches. Sam Robbins mentioned over Twitter they might start adopting this workflow at their place of work, and that’s great, but again, it seems to me most developers feel trunk is good enough and branches are just an unnecessary complication.
Stay tuned for #4 in the Agile Chronicles series where I talk about the POC (Proof of Concept), business strategy, and design challenges.
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
May. 24, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 657
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
May. 24, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 932
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
May. 24, 2016 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,022
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 24, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 962
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
May. 24, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 723
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
May. 24, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,639
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit y...
May. 24, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,837
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will discuss the vast to...
May. 24, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,348
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
May. 24, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,678
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
May. 24, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,072
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
May. 24, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,839
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
May. 24, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,364
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
May. 24, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,049
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
May. 24, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,745
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 24, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 725
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
May. 24, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,681
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
May. 24, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,959
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
May. 24, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,047
SYS-CON Events announced today BZ Media LLC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and Commercial Drone markets.
May. 24, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,385
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
May. 24, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,401