The Build Machine

All executables we ship to Production are done on the official Build Machine. We are gearing up for next year's software. So we have been using the future year Build Machine recently. But the client said a current year problem had to be fixed now. Turned out to be an adventure to get a current year build done.

The first chore was to locate the instructions to build the current year software. It has been a long time since we did this. Luckily I keep hard-copies of important documents like the build instructions. So I started following the instructions. I fail early by not being able to remotely connect to the Build Machine. I ask the configuration management team for help. They tell me to come on up to their floor.

At the CM team's cubicle, I find a row of workstations all controlled by a single keyboard. I told them I needed to find the current year Build Machine. Figured the thing might have been powered down. The CM guy did not know we have separate machines for the current and future year software. I ask myself why we let them control our machines.

Since the CM guys are getting me nowhere, I track down the guy that wrote the build scripts. He said the System Administrators renamed the Build Machine. I was able to piece together the new network name based on some rules the SAs used. With that I was able to log into the Build Machine.

Next step is to kick off a build. The build script errors out fast. Apparently it is trying to access a Clearcase view that no longer exists. I check all my views. The missing one does not seem like one I remember using. Had to speak again with the author of the build script. He suspected the CM team changed the view name on us. I sense a pattern with the problems.

When I finally got the darn app to build, I updated the documents that show how to do a Production build. I also check in an updated script with the correct Clearcase view. No reason any other developer should have to go through this pain.