My last post introduced the GearStream cloud factory model that establishes a pattern for software development characterized by high velocity, high reliability, high dependability, and high predictability-from start to finish. Here are three more key components of the model:
- Cloud factory: The heart of the GearStream model is the cloud factory itself, which relies on the very best open source tools and Lean-Agile best practices to automate software development and support a high velocity, continuous build and delivery practices. Similar to the approach used by large-scale consumer web brands, the GearStream cloud factory implements automation tooling whenever it finds a task that machines perform better than humans. As software features move through the cloud factory, all of the state changes ore driven by tooling that automate, for example, the collection of scripts, binaries and packages in the build list.By eliminating manual processes, the cloud factory improves software quality while accelerating its progress through the development cycle. From technical coding to testing to release management, the cloud factory ruthlessly exposes code to a set of verifications that provide feedback and confirmation. While most companies struggle to complete one build a week, the cloud factory supports software development that can yield several builds per day and, in extreme cases, several builds per hour.
- Automated test and verification: Automated testing of executable requirements lets GearStream analyze software before it has been built. Each time a new piece of code enters the cloud factory, a series of automated tests determines if the new code works as intended and that it does not break anything that was working before. Likewise, automated tests run (re-verify that the code still works) every time developers touch the code.And as great as all that sounds, yet another set of tools automates the inspection of code to verify best practices for coding are being used. Working code that violates best practices is rejected and routed back to engineering. This stage of verification eliminates technical debt ensuring companies can readily modify their systems on an ongoing basis.
- SME inspection: Even with improved automation, some development processes simply cannot be performed by a machine. In such cases, GearStream relies on subject matter experts to inspect the code and coding practices. After GearStream SMEs approve the software, it’s promoted to a private URL sandbox where the customer can test it.