Things have been a bit quite around here lately as we just pushed out a major release of our software and then went into intensive planning sessions for 2 weeks on the next product roadmap.
So how did we do?
Things that went well:
- Continuous Integration, second major release using it, overall it’s really starting to pay dividends as people get used to the tool.
- Bug fixes by removing code. We have quite a large code base now so we were able to sit down and say what should this really do for some strategic bugs. This allowed us to do some cruft cleaning so the tricky code is much more maintainable and understandable.
- Minimal overtime, only three or four nights when people were here to 10-11.
- Full end to end integration of release and automated UI testing using HP quick test pro. (Basically we can hit publish in CC, do full build and package into each configuration upload to the releases share and then have the installs run and all functional UI tests from the testers test plan run)
Things to fix for next time:
- First time we had a product analyst embedded, the engineers we have are pretty good at satisfying and working with users so this rubbed in a few places.
- We had a lot of switching of resources as fires came up on other projects which meant lots of juggling.
- We need to improve our estimation skills and making a more concerted focus on knocking off features and getting them to our internal users for feedback sooner.
Overall I’m pretty happy with this release and we’re about to start some major new work here with larger and distributed teams so it will be interesting to revisit in 6-9 months and see how we went. My gut feeling is things that are minor niggles , like lagging documentation for example, will become much bigger pain points when there’s three or four teams in different time zones trying to meet an aggressive new product road map.