Saturday, 5 March 2011

The Build Master by Vincent Maraia (Microsoft build secrets exposed)

If you're in the business of software product development and management and are not using a continuous build and configuration management system, then you should definitely reconsider your approach. This book offers insight into how Microsoft handles its product build processes, it's always interesting to learn from the world's most successful software outfit - finding out about Microsoft isn't easy, so any bit of inside info is useful.

Regardless of this book being out-of-date, especially with the influence of continuous integration and delivery, and the large-scale adoption of Agile development processes; where information is freely available on the net - I still recommend this book to those who have little or no experience on effectively maintaining product code, what you'll learn is the following:

  • Processes, techniques and tools to make build, configuration management, integration and testing easier, more controllable and predictable
  • Change the way you think: The people in power is the Build, Integration and CM team, not component developers. Learn ways to control check-ins, find out about Triage and WAR room. Learn about Dogfooding
  • Interesting side-notes on the inner workings on Microsoft, containing memos from Bill Gates himself, Microsoft's management philosophy, etc.
If you're not a fan of Microsoft or your products are not based on Windows, then this book isn't for you. There are plenty of good resource material available on the web...

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