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Re: How to get started

From: Jim Hyslop
Subject: Re: How to get started
Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 10:29:47 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 (Windows/20050317)

Rondal Ellifritt wrote:
I have recently been hired into an existing development group. One of my
tasks is to get the group using version control.

Quite a challenge, from your description.

Maarten has given you some excellent tips. Out of all of these, I think your first priority *has* to be to separate the production environment from the development environment. I know you're new to the company, but I'm sure if you start enough casual conversations, you'll get a large number of horror stories about problems that occurred because of this mixture - use this as ammunition to convince people. Also explain that separating development from production is not _your_ way of doing things - it is a widely accepted, industry standard Best Practise.

Nowhere have you mentioned developer training in CVS. Do the developers already know how to use CVS? If not, that is a critical step that must happen before you do anything. The developers must understand and be comfortable with basic version management concepts and the basic CVS commands if you want any hope of achieving your goals.

Along the way, you will likely encounter many excuses for not doing things the new way: "Oh, it's only one minor tweak." "I don't have time to do it right - I've got a deadline" (your response: "If you don't have time to do it right, when are you going to have time to do it over?" and don't wait for an answer - it's a rhetorical question). Gently but firmly remind them that these shortcuts are what got them into the current mess they're in (and don't be afraid to use the word "mess" - if the other developers have a shred of professional pride, they know in their hearts the situation is a disaster waiting to happen).

As you progress, you will likely have dozens of questions. Feel free to post them here - that's what this list is for ;=)


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