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Improved cycle time? What about this technique from the 1990s?

One of the DevOps goals you often hear about is "improved cycle time" for releases. What that means, basically, is speeding up the time from when a developer writes a line of code to when it is in production. The opposite would be writing code for a release that doesn't ship for a year or so (common in shrink-wrapped software). You often hear about teams bring their cycle time from months to days, from days to hours. Etsy brags that they've gotten it down to minutes. The benefits to reducing cycle time are well documented.

Well I have a technique that reduces it to a cycle time that is faster than minutes. Faster than seconds! It is absolutely instant. This is not even a new technique! It was common in the 1990s!

It's called "letting the developers edit code directly on the production server". Edit. Save. Boom! Code is in production. Thank you. #dropthemic


(P.S. If you weren't sure, I'm just kidding.)

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Funny

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That technique is still in use today, and was used well before the 90's. Isn't that what Fred Brookes team used? Granted thehardware developers probably had a dev system to test the boards with their white patch wires.

In all seriousness though, isn't the point of having a complete production like stack (perhaps with a different database if there is PII on it) on the dev machine to have the advantages of "coding on production" without the disadvantages?

Also, if your site is etsy, and the credit card processing is handled by a third party and subject to more serious controls, isn't the risk of failure less. I don't want to go to the extreme of a CI system pushing to production every commit. However, I'm glad someone like etsy pushes that envelope so that the technique can trickle down. The moon landings gave us tang and velcro. Etsy's techniques help the rest of us to get really fast pushes to a QA systems, and can be used so that during a weekly or monthly release cycle, the actual release is more automated.

So let Etsy be brave and stupid, so we can learn from them.

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