Automating Development Can Lead to Project Success

I’ve found that the more automation I can build into the development process, the smoother the process works and the higher the likelihood is that it will be successful. I spend my most of my time working on large projects with complex applications. Often I’m called in to help a team get a project back on track. Project failure isn’t as rare as you might think, see www.it-cortex.com/ Stat_Failure_Rate.htm. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from putting projects back on track is the critical importance of automating the build/ test/deploy/install cycle. A fast and reliable build/test/deploy/install cycle allows you to move the application along at a fast pace so testers can see development changes quickly and the systems administrators who need to deploy and install aren’t kept waiting. It’s critical to surface errors quickly. In fact, once the build/ test pace spins up, it becomes clear where the design isn’t right or where development isn’t meeting design goals. I find that it often takes from 30 minutes to several hours to get an application up and running after the build. Even then it’s hit or miss whether the application runs smoothly due to the complexity of the steps needed to set it up. Automating these processes makes the deployment of the application a point-and-click repeatable process that puts the new build out for testers very quickly

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