Starbucks-fueled Developer

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Branches Getting Burned

I can't say that I didn't see this coming, but I met resistance today when I proposed branching the VSS project that I'm working on. We're in the middle of production fixes and implementing new features and the source is getting quite ugly. We deployed code Monday and had to remove some code post-haste as it was for new features that weren't finished.

The PM cited realistic reasons: poor team communication, VS.NET web project inconveniences, and VS.NET and VSS integration issues make branching an unappealing proposition. They had a terrible time getting the project into VSS to begin with. And the PM, rightfully so, is timid about trying that in the middle of a project. Not to mention that web projects, IIS, and VSS don't really get along to begin with, it would be a nightmare trying to get it all setup with the different branches.

To be honest, I accept the PM's remarks and can make do with our situation since I really have no other choice. The sad thing is, however, that it really doesn't need to be this way. Every one of the complaints has a solution. Team communication can be fixed and, at a minimum, is solved by individuals THINK!ing. Think about where the work you need to do is applicable before going code wild. If you don't understand, ASK! There are several workarounds to working with web projects, like making them class libraries instead. Hopefully, this also solves the VSS integration problems as well, but if not, may be it's time our SCCS grows up.

The truth is our process doesn't allow for this style of development and it's becoming a true roadblock in moving forward on projects. Unfortunately, it feels like we're going to have to hit the roadblock before we wise up to the true problem...

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