Collected technical work left undone.When a feature changes, there’s immediate debt to documentation. When we branch, as we work longer in parallel, we accumulate a debt towards integrating. CI minimizes the accumulation of that debt.
My apologies to Mr. Rumsfeld.
Transcript of "Automation and Technical Debt"
How Automation Reveal Technical Debt1
Eric’s Bio I’m a Lead Consultant at Urbancode where I helps customers get the most out of their build, deploy and release processes. I have 9 years of automation experience throughoutEric Minick the application life-cycle in roles email@example.com@EricMinick a developer, test automation engineer, and support engineer. I’ve been at the forefront of CI & CD for 7+ years 2
Why do we accumulate technical debt?• We leverage technical debt to deliver more faster. Scope Time• De-leveraging is rarely accounted for in project planning. Resources• Green-Shifting*4 * http://www.drdobbs.com/191600661
Why should we care?Baggage that slows the team Quality issues• Lack of automated tests • Lack of tests results in lengthen QA cycles buggier code• Fear of merging work • Releases are error prone and lead to unnecessary• Unrefactored code slow to work with outages• Slow build / deploy processes delay learning and release pace5
The limits of what we know• Known Knowns: Bugs confirmed and tracked• Known Unknowns: Undiscovered bugs• Unknown unknowns: One of our project teams is using a GPL’d library making their product impossible to ship6
Where Automation Helps• “Testing” for debt: Automated tests, code scans and reports can help identify (and quantify) problems.• Automation as a learning experience: The act of automating brings surprises.7
Automation Examples: The Build• Build time dependencies not understood• Build scripts missing or incomplete• “Magic build server” anti-pattern17 http://www.urbancode.com/html/resources/webinars/Role_of_Binary_repo sitories_in_Software_Configuration_Management.html
Automation Examples: Deployment• Deployment scripts scarce• “Special Instructions” with most deployments indicate non-repeatable process• Environmental differences handled poorly• Separation of duties less than real18
Automation Example: Test Automation• Requirements less well understood• Existing tests are few, stale, un-optimized• Application not architected for testability19
Expect the unexpected when automating• At scale, Green-Shifting, has hidden issues• Include these discoveries in ROI estimations for automation (positively and negatively)• This is a happy side effect20
Direct and Indirect Automation Benefits• Direct: We tested for problems and found them.• Indirect: In attempting to be more efficient, we automated, and accidently discovered problems.21
Automating for the team• Provide a “safety net” to detect and recognize issues.• Diagnose and repair lack of repeatability in build-deploy-test• Quantify accumulating debt in support of fighting scope creep• Team level tooling is fine22
Automating the Enterprise• Benefits extend beyond aggregate team level benefits• Central Automation and Reporting gets us: – Identify who can use shared configuration – Who has tests, who doesn’t – Who is using what tools – Build / deploy failure rates23
Favorite Examples: Deployment Failures• Problem: High rate of deployment failures a problem• Goal: Reduce failure rate from 40% to 5%• Approach: Avoid manually fixing a deployment. Fix the automation and redeploy.• Enforcement: Monthly / weekly spreadsheet of success to CIO with a six month plan.24
Favorite Examples: “End of Day” Commits• Problem: Developers commit breaking changes at the end of the day• Goal: Avoid other devs staying late to clean up• Approach: Report on failures, and react to negative patterns as a team.25
Favorite Examples: Low numbers of tests• Problem: Unit testing discipline breaking down over time• Goal: Maintain high or improving coverage• Approach: Standard coverage tools and an emphasis on upward trends.• Enforcement: Trending report on monitor over CIO’s door27
Summary• We accumulate technical debt as we race to deliver more, faster.• This causes us to eventually release less, slower, with worse quality• Automation directly and indirectly helps us find issues.• There are benefits at both team and enterprise levels.28
More References http://urbancode.com/resources• Enterprise CD Maturity Model• Lean Build & Deployment Automation• Managing Release Risks with MetricsBlogs.urbancode.comTwitter.com/UrbanCodeSoftFacbebook.com/UrbanCodeSoftSlideshare.net/Urbancode29
Yes, we sell products for this• AnthillPro – Build automation and build promotion• uDeploy – Deployment and release management30