Upgrade Broke the Build

This year my team upgraded a number of software development tools we use. This included some third party libraries such as Objective Toolkit from Rogue Wave. We specifically use the Object Grid from that toolkit. We initially received a trial version of this toolkit while our customer worked on the lengthy process of software procurement. Our team worked to get this trial version to work with our code. There were a bunch of changes since it had been a long time since we last made a toolkit upgrade. However we persevered in the end.

Then we finally received the real software from Rogue Wave. However there was a slight problem. The trial version we initially received was version 11. The purchased version was version 12. Our team lead thought this would be no problem. He assigned the task of upgraded to the latest version to a junior developer. That is where the real problems started happening.

The junior developer never seemed to clearly understand what we needed to do. In essence, we needed to build the DLLs using the latest code. Then we needed to use the newest version of the include files in our code. Finally our build process needed to deploy the new version of the DLLs. That sounds simple on paper. However like most things in this world, nothing is ever simple to the newbies.

Our junior developer needed a lot of help to get the new libraries built. Then this developer just checked a lot of things into source code control. Some of the files checked in were the new libraries we needed. However other files checked in were files that get built during compilation time. It also did not help that the developer did not update our projects to use the new libraries. I get the feeling that this developer needs a lot of mentoring. Unfortunately, the majority of the development team works out of a different location than this developer. What’s a team like ours to do?