Monthly Archives: May 2010

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Automation is for the Lazies!

Category : Tools

In my overview of build automation benefits I already stated that it leads to “Less job burnout due to routine tasks”.

That’s another way to say – automation is good for us lazy folks! :) Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m lazy. Especially when it comes to long repetitive tasks with a lot of small steps that are easy to forget. Like closing a release baseline or cleaning my apartment. Alas, we can’t automate the apartment cleaning (as yet), but we can, and should be lazy about SDLC tasks.

So how do you go about this?  Well, first of all – get out  these annoying checklists with all the steps needed to close that baseline, prepare that installation kit, merge that branch into the main stream, etc. Don’t  have the checklists? It’s all in your head?!  Well, you’ll have to write it down now – this will be our automation algorithm. Yep, I know it’s no fun, but think about it – you’ll only have to do this once!!!

Now that you have the checklist in front of you, try to evaluate what it would take to automate that whole process. What are the questions you’ll need to answer along the way? What are the variables influencing the decisions? Try to see if this can be broken into logical parts – maybe it will be easier to automate separate steps before going for the whole thing.

Once you have a glimpse of what can be done – start working!  Build a small script/application/gui – whatever suits your needs. It may not be perfect at the start, you may be ashamed of showing it to anyone, but step by step, improvement after improvement you’ll be able to build a robust process and free yourself from this annoying checklist to do something that’s more fun. Like ,say, reading a blog :)

As I say – let the machines do the work, while we do the talk.

Because deep inside most of us are lazies.