Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Frequent Late Night Releases And Telecommuting

My current company has public facing web applications and we generally tend to release stuff when not many users are online. So it mostly ends up being late night bug squashing and release parties. I so much wish I or the company in general could improve upon the process but eventually it ends up being around that time. I have not had a chance to take a deeper look why but no matter what we do there are certain things that have to be done and the process just gets stretched. Backup's, release, servers the usual cycle...plus the production sanity tests...

So the whole process does take long and if there is a bottleneck on release date (which often is the case) then its even longer. Plus given the time constraint, we cannot start deployment earlier in the day.

Though in general i am a back end person and i am luckier then other folks in the sense that i can checkin my code and get away earlier at times, but the thing is i wonder what is the process employed by companies to do releases. Do you guys also have late night release parties?

On this note one thing i do want to bring up which my company has done so good upon. Use of online collabration tools. Back in the days for the release the party used to be as short as 4 hours to lasting 2 days and i spent all that time sometime not sleeping for 2 days sometime sleeping on the office floor.

We still have some long release sessions when we are fighting the deadlines, but atleast i do not have to sleep on the office floor. Most of us work from home during the release sessions and we all have learnt using online tools lot more effeciently.
So now we do not have to be physically present at one place i.e the office.

This has certainly reduced the amount of burn out you have and you can work on things when you are not needed. Plus being in front of the family, reduces the complaints as well :).

Coming back to my starting point. Late night stretched release parties, i would love some input from others how do they handle those sessions and if there are some good tricks that can be shared.
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