Mundane success

Once upon a time it was common for my teams and I to work longer and longer days as we approached a deadline, releasing successfully, and getting a real buzz from it. That was before I learned about how to deliver things incrementally and iteratively. Then things became a lot less exciting.

I remember one of my team once complaining that he felt he was on a treadmill, always in the same fortnightly cycle. I understood what he meant, and he was genuine in his feelings, but I couldn’t helping thinking to myself that he should be pleased that he was delivering useful things successfully every fortnight.

All this came back to me when I read an old Wired article about how LinkedIn moved from problematic monthly releases to more successful releases several times a day. My experience of continuous deployment, also, is that success becomes routine. And that success includes not just releasing code often, but also less time fixing bugs and more satisfied and engaged stakeholders.

The days of grand heroics are gone, which is slightly disappointing. But we should be able to step back and see what a positive thing that is. We should aspire to success being routine.

Photo by Nate Edwards