Good software practices save you time

A client asked a some days ago to check-in a copy of a complex system (made by mycompany and foobar enterprises) in their repositories (they require a very specific format, and delivering the source via a zip file uploaded to a web application).

This is not new, they request this almost each 6 months, so I just launched an Ant task and voila!, everything was ready.

In the past, however, each company did a partial upload. This time they requested a single source upload, and I was in charge of assembling and validating it.

And this turned out to be a major pain.

The developers from foobar enterprises did not use any scripts for automatic building, it was all done from the IDE. They did not keep an SQL script for creating their database schema. They hadn’t thought before on how their development would be deployed… and the worst part, they still think all those things are not useful or needed.

Oh, yes, about the “save you time” part of the title… after two weeks, they are still working in getting something that resembles a real deliverable (according to the client’s description of it).

So, guys… never forget to use your old friend ant, no matter how powerful your IDE is.

So… What about you? Have you ever suffered from the lack of automation? Too much automation caused you trouble?

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