Thursday, November 01, 2007

Of Laptops and Builds, Time wasted in the development world

Time is money.
Time is of the essence.
No time to kill.

Every second wasted is bad. That's the long and short of it. So, let me fill you in on how even a big(ger) development company can lost this valuable resource.

Hyper IT guys who think they know it all
If you can rush, and never miss a step, then rush. If you're gonna rush and miss key things, don't rush.

Our IT department has a procedure in place for rolling out new laptops. Backup the old one, and (within a day or two) give you the new one with all the software the developer has been using and will need. No settings are copied, but the software is supposed to be up and running.

Here's how my laptop upgrade went:
Backup my laptop - IT guy asks me when I'm working till. I tell him 5PM. I'll be by at 4:30 to backup your laptop. My thoughts are, he's gonna back it up and give it to me by 5? That's pretty good. So, 4:20 he comes and takes my laptop. At 4:50 PM I ask him how long it'll be.
"I hope you weren't waiting. I took it at 4:30 so you'ld have time to finish your other stuff before 5."

Umm.... I'm a computer programmer. Without a computer to program on, there's not much I can do. I know backups take longer than a half hour. I should have pressed for more information.

So, I get my old laptop back the next morning.

The NEXT Monday, afternoon, I get my new laptop. I'm told I can copy any data off my old laptop to the new one that I need.

I have several Virtual PCs I use for different project. We're talking several gigs a piece. So the IT guy is nice enough to put me on a separate hub so I won't have to deal with traffic/collisions on the Gigabit network. A nice little 10/100 hub.

Silly me, I Moved my data, instead of copy. Tuesday a little before noon, I go to get my SQL database running... and SQL Management Studio is not installed.

Long story short, I got my new laptop running Wednesday morning.

Poor Development Processes for Projects
I read Coding Horror daily. Here's another way a team can lose time, new people to the project not being able to come on board in a timely fashion.
The F5 Key Is Not a Build Process

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