Friday, 14 December 2007

I'm too good for that!

This is something that has interested me for the longest time: why do so-called experienced developers claim that their time shouldn't be spent working on the build system?

The best developers I know, know their build systems inside out. The best among these have written their own. Remember though, correlation is not causation. Anecdotal correlation is probably the worst kind though :-)

To me, the build system is like the conductor in an orchestra. It defines the possibilities and the boundaries. It directs what you can do. Deviation from this breaks the harmony and you get a sub-optimal result.

Why anyone would not like to direct the development process in this way is beyond me. I guess the guys whose time should be better spent elsewhere are probably the same guys who complain a lot about things in general.

Companies that invest in a suitable system for builds, even if they write their own, will be much better off in the long run. Of course, you should only write your own once you are making some money!

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