I've been preaching the value of daily builds for a while now. Of course, they prevent any one developer from screwing up the rest of the team by checking in something which breaks the build, which makes them crucial for teams with more than about 1 person. Even on teams of 1, daily builds give you a way to track down weird bugs that seemed to have slipped in a while ago by binary searching through the historical builds. (What the heck?! It never did that before! Did it?) And more crucially, by giving you a canonical way to build "the final bits" from raw checkouts, you can be confident that you never forget some crucial step when you release a new version.
Last week Robert French emailed me to ask if there are any good tools for making daily builds on Windows. We've been using a product called FinalBuilder since last December, and in fact it is so good that in addition to daily builds we've pretty much started using it instead of scripts for routine system administration stuff for us (like moving files around for backup purposes, etc.) I highly recommend it.
Vincent Parrett over at Atozed Software has agreed to sell FinalBuilder exclusively to Joel on Software readers at $100 off (it's $199 instead of $299), but only until August 31st so hurry up and get some.
You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.
I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, insanely simple project management, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracker designed to help great teams develop brilliant software, and Kiln, which simplifies source control. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.