August 2, 2011

Deploying: Then & Now

A couple months ago I got up on stage during lightening talks at CodeConf 2011 to talk about our friendly robot, Hubot.

Inside of five minutes I logged into our Campfire room with spotty WiFi, asked Hubot a favor, and he deployed a major new feature to our site ā€” Issues 2.0. A deploy spanning around 30 servers that changed a major feature for 800,000 users. It was pretty awesome and kind of a ridiculous thing to do.

Rewind the clock 7 years ago and I had just landed my first steady job in the tech industry ā€” a front end developer for a big interactive agency.

I remember one of our clients had a static HTML website that I was in charge of maintaining. We had a 45 minute window occurring once a week where we could deploy their site.

Once a week, I generated a list of files Iā€™d changed since the last week so a System Administrator could FTP the files over to production. Any changes to production I needed that occurred outside that 45 minute window required manager intervention.

Recap time.



2011 is pretty fucking awesome.

Deployment is an art. And the style in which you deploy impacts your company culture more than you think. Deploy with style.

If you'd like to keep in touch, I tweet @kneath on Twitter. You're also welcome to send a polite email to I don't always get the chance to respond, but email is always the best way to get in touch.