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The Bar Is Even Higher Now

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's been just over 8 years since Michael Feathers wrote "The Bar Is Higher Now".

I don't care how good you think your design is. If I can't walk in and write a test for an arbitrary method of yours in five minutes its not as good as you think it is, and whether you know it or not, you're paying a price for it.

continuous delivery

It's fascinating to talk to IT professionals from companies around the world and realize what a wide range of workflows are in place. In some shops there are very few automated tests, no automated deployments, and 30 page manuals with instructions for setting up a developer workstation to reach the point where you can begin to work on an application.

On the other side of the gulf there is Amazon (a deployment every 11.6 seconds), Etsy (a new developer commits to production on day 1), and Flickr (they deployed 97 times this week (scroll to the bottom)).

The rapid feedback cycles and agility gained through ruthless automation are a strategic advantage for those companies. I also suspect the developers are happier and far more productive compared to the companies where 20 people are on-call at 4am waiting to help with a new deployment that's been 10 months in the making.

Perhaps the new bar to reach for is this:

If I can't walk in and commit to production on day 1, then you are not as good as you think you are, and you are paying a price for it.

Interesting goal, don't you think?