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The build is broken

 
Jan de Boer
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Hey, if in your department, after a check out, update, you cannot compile the sources anymore, what do you do with the guilty one?

I used to work in an environment, where the guilty one had to buy lunch for the whole department. Now I work together with three guys, and if the sources cannot be compiled....it's like every day business. I think it is a 'cannot do'. I always do a clean check out, and check if the sources I have uploaded to the source code management system are compilable. I am the only one here it seems. I think it's annoying. I think it's not good team practice. What do you think? I am too rigid or?

:-(
 
Jelle Klap
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Of course it's a good practice to only commit code that, at the very least, compiles, duh
Every developer should be aware of that, but in practice it's sometimes no so easy to foresee how a change might affect client code in other modules. Especially when it takes a really long time to build all dependent modules (let alone test them), code that breaks the build will find its way into revision control, but that should be the exception rather then the rule. I'm opposed to the 'blame system', though. People make mistakes, deal with it. There's nothing more annoying then having some pedentic guardian of the build breathing down your neck.
 
Jesper de Jong
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Too rigid? No! I think it's a good idea to have a penalty on breaking the build. If it becomes an everyday thing then slowly people start to care less and less if the build is broken, and then they care less about other things too, they start to be sloppy and the quality of the software goes down.
 
Jan de Boer
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Jesper de Jong wrote:Too rigid? No! I think it's a good idea to have a penalty on breaking the build.


Since this is Meaningless Drivel, I would like a picture of a pillory with your post. Or would that go too far?
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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We generally chide the perpetrator with talk of a "virtual dunce cap". Sometimes GIFs are exchanged. This is usually enough.

I extend this not only to build failures, but test failures as well. If the unit test suite fails after a check-in the perpetrator always gets a hard time from me.
 
Jayesh A Lalwani
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I have heard some people make the offender wear a bra on his head
 
Jesper de Jong
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Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:I have heard some people make the offender wear a bra on his head

I'm not in favor of humiliating and sexist punishments like this.

One idea I've heard which supposedly works very well to make people keep to their promises is that they agree to pay money to some cause that they don't like, if they break their promise. For example, you break your promise, then you give some money to a political party that you don't like.
 
Jelle Klap
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I'd quit my job the very same day such a schoolyard enforcement policy would be enacted. Either you trust your developers or you don't. If check-in behaviour becomes a problem, then talk about it rationally like adults and if it remains a problem, escalate.
 
Jan de Boer
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Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:I have heard some people make the offender wear a bra on his head


Also if it's a girl?
 
Jan de Boer
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Well the thing is, I find it very rude. Sloppy check ins. You frustrate the work of other because you're too lazy yourself. And it is not difficult to check out, after a check in and recompile. It's not rocket science. It's not even computer science. It's just procedure. Not doing it, is, for me, just drop your dropping, bogger off, and let others deal with the consequences.
 
fred rosenberger
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While I think it is OK to do some mild teasing, I don't think any major public humiliation is a good idea.

However, if the problem persists, more drastic measures should be taken. Make it a company policy that you have to verify the build after your check-ins, which then allows you to do anything from mild reprimands up to termination for serious, recurring issues.
 
Richard Tookey
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Jan de Boer wrote:Well the thing is, I find it very rude.


I contracted to a company to do some Java development but found I was mainly doing C. The C had to work on many platforms and with many compilers and I did not have access to some of the build. Also, the part of the build I could run took over an hour which meant other people could check stuff in after my test build started. As a result there were frequent conflicts to be resolved and incompatibilities that caused the nightly build to fail. On top of this, I kept using // for comments which on some of the C compilers was accepted but on one I had no access to did not. Luckily I was only there for 5 months.

I spend some while trying to see if a finer approach to branching would help but decided a fundamental overhaul of procedure was needed but the management made it clear that this was not going to happen.
 
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