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November 2010 - Volano Solutions

Source Control

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The Tenets of Source Control

Source control has been around for a long time. There’s nothing earth-shattering or ground-breaking to say about it here. So, I’m going to borrow from Eric Sink creator of SourceGear, one of the tools we’ve used at Volano:

There are many source control tools, and they are all different. However, regardless of which tool you use, it is likely that your source control tool provides some or all of the following basic features:

  • It provides a place to store your source code.
  • It provides a historical record of what you have done over time.
  • It can provide a way for developers to work on separate tasks in parallel, merging their efforts later.
  • It can provide a way for developers to work together without getting in each others’ way.

Different Flavors

The various source control products out there can be categorized by two attributes: Repository Model and Concurrency Model. The Repository Model can be Client-Server or Distributed and the Concurrency Model can be Merge or Lock. Other things you take into consideration include: Is the product open-source or proprietary? And what operating system is it available on?

But Still

A lot of developers don’t get the importance of source control or are just too lazy to do it. They give excuses like “but I’m the only one working on the project, so it’s not that important.” BACKUPS ARE NOT SOURCE CONTROL!

The Volano Audit

We’re building a product around custom application audits. The audit is a discovery process that will result in an assessment of best practices along with important application development documentation in the form of a system master document. This will encompass the current application state and we will offer recommendations regarding how best to move forward. These recommendations will be structured as an actionable plan and will include an estimated effort, costs and proposed timeline.

For the source control component of this audit, we identify the following:

Assessment

  • Can the current software version be obtained, compiled, and released?
  • Can the project be ‘rolled back’ to a previous version?
  • Are all custom software applications and libraries in one structured repository?

Information

  • Source Control product & version in use
  • Location of repository
  • How to log into repository
  • Administrator username & password

Looking Forward

Database Version Control

Perhaps it’s my DBA background, but I’ve been very interested in database version control. I’m talking a real product – not just saving the database scripts in one of the standard tools. Red Gate is one of my favorite companies for developer tools. I’ve been using their flagship software, SQL Compare, since 2000 and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Red Gate has introduced SQL Source Control and though I have not tried it yet, it’s on my list to look into.

3 Years Old – Open House

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Back on August 15th, Volano turned 3 years old! That was the first day that I sub-contracted at Jelecos. Rod and I had been talking about various ideas to start off on our own with for quite a while, but a consulting company was never really one of them. A few stars (clients) aligned and we thought it was the right time to take the leap. Our original plan was to have a network sub-contractors to work with on projects. Kent Templien (X-eqt) had a similar vision with his ability to sell solutions and have a network of trusted and able consultants to fill the needs of his clients. Rod and I met Kent back in our days with Customer Service Profiles when Rod and I were working on an internal system and needed some help. Kent was selling for Quilogy then and was able to bring in a very talented guy, Andrew. That was our help with sales, next, we needed help with coding. I knew Harry Berman from our kids going to preschool together. Harry had been coding as an independent for quite a while and we needed his help right off the bat. We also needed a junior and we talked Luis Pineda into becoming an independent. We were always able to keep those guys busy, along with ourselves, but we found it very difficult to find more independents in the Microsoft application development space – so we decided to hire. Luis converted to an employee about the same time we hired Doug Dawson. We had Jeremy Heeg do some contract work for us, then he came back as an employee. Our last hire was about a month ago when we picked up David Carnley as ASC IT was going down.

So that puts the total at eight for the holiday party this year! This year it’s a midtown crossing theme!

But this was suppose to be a post about our open house so here:

Pictures from our open house!