Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Transforming a Struggling Software Team into a High-Performance Team - Part 3

In this  third installment of our series, "Transforming a Struggling Software Team into a High-Performance Team," we delve into the pivotal third step of our transformation: improving our version control practices.

Our team's journey with Git, took a dramatic turn as we shifted from the somewhat chaotic 'developer branches' to the harmony of a unified 'trunk' based development approach. This strategic move was not just a change in process, but a cultural shift towards collective code ownership and streamlined workflows for a typical small to medium-sized team.

The creation of two  branches, 'develop' and 'bugfix', from the 'main' branch, marked the beginning of a new chapter. Developers merged their individual efforts (i.e. the individual 'developer branches' into the single 'develop' branch, resolving any conflicts along the way, and then bid farewell to their isolated 'developer branches'. This unification meant that all developers were now committing directly to the 'develop' branch, fostering an environment of collaboration and immediate integration.

To ensure a seamless workflow, we introduced critical practices such as syncing with the latest code at the start of the day and post-lunch, as well as pushing changes before breaks. This routine not only kept each developer codebase fresh but also minimized integration headaches.

Our build strategy also saw a transformation with the introduction of a daily build from the 'develop' branch, a QA build from the 'bugfix' branch for our diligent testers, and a customer release build triggered upon merges to the 'main' branch. This structured approach led to a more stable codebase, with integration issues being swiftly identified and rectified during local feature testing.

Join us as I continue to share this journey in the quest to achieve software excellence. Stay tuned for more insights and strategies that can help transform your team from struggling to high-performing.

Elevating our software team's game, we've changed our version control protocols, catapulting code stability to new heights. Developers now unearth and rectify integration snags swiftly through meticulous local feature testing. We've instituted  release naming conventions, build number tracking, and a streamlined hot fix process. This strategic overhaul has slashed the influx of trivial bugs to QA, empowering our engineers to zero in on pivotal feature and behavior anomalies. The result? A seismic reduction in customer-facing bugs, showcasing our commitment to excellence. (P.S. These insights are versatile, meshing seamlessly with any version control system, be it Subversion, Mercurial, or Perforce.)

NOTE :  This article was originally posted on LinkedIn and expanded.

No comments: