I like the build patterns that TWer Sam Newman has been blogging about. A recent favorite was a post titled “build fix flag” where Sam describes using a paper flag to show visually who is fixing the build. The rules according to Sam:
1. If you saw a CI build breakage, you looked for the flag
2. If someone had the flag, you left them alone
3. If you couldn’t see the flag, you tried to identify the person who made the last check in
4. If you couldn’t find a likely culprit, you raised the flag and fixed it yourself
We use a couple of TW branded USB build lights on our project to give visibility to the current build status across the floor, but with a large team there is a bit of time wasted asking ‘who broke the build? are you fixing it? who’s fixing it?’. We talked about the idea of an indicator, and this morning there appeared an large furry multi-colored wizard’s hat. Replace ‘flag‘ in the rules above with ‘funny hat‘.
I think it’s brilliant – I’m going to jump in and fix the build next time I notice it broken, just so I can wear the bloody hat!