Starbucks-fueled Developer

Monday, July 25, 2005

Branching Out is Good For You

I learned an invaluable lesson today: branch your code, especially when it's in production.

A project I'm working on has been in production for about a month now. I/we are following up on bug fixes as well as implementing features that did not make the original release. Did you see the hole we fell into? We didn't branch our source code before/after deploying the release to production. So now, everyone is working on the same codebase that's in production that includes both bug fixes AND new features.

Obviously, this bit us today when we went to deploy some fixes and it broke the application (in production, mind you) because one of the changes did not make it to the production database as it was part of the new functionality. Had we branched the project into a Production branch and Release 1.5 (or your name d'jour), the bug fixes would've been isolated from the new features and, theoretically, the deployment would've gone a lot smoother. We would then be able to merge the two branches when the new features are to be released and, at that time, we'd be able to include the fixes in the Release 1.5 branch as well....given VSS didn't destroy it...

Someday, our processes will be automated and we won't have to worry as much about this sort of nonsense that eats valuable resources from our projects...


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