As a result of my division being sold to another company earlier this summer, one of the many things asked of me was to complete a `Jobs Analysis Questionnaire`. Basically it’s a really long form trying to figure out what the heck I do ( think of the Bobs in Office Space asking `So just what is it you do here?` ), how much responsibility I have and what could go wrong if I do it incorrectly.
A lot of people seem to think that Deployment Engineering isn’t really important. Very frequently I am contacted by potential clients and recruiters who seem to grossly underestimate their needs. I even see this attitude from very seasoned developers and program managers who really should know better.
Recently I’ve seen a lot of postings talking about very .NET Framework and Visual Studio installer errors. However even these blatant defects are nothing compared to this gem.
The summary of the story is that a gaming company was putting together an installer using NSIS and in the process they wiped out the BOOT.INI on their customers computers. They try to explain how their entire development process failed to catch this issue but in the end it’s inexcusable. In the end they are feeling the pain of trying to make it right.
Sadly this is the case in a lot of development shops. Deployment Engineering just isn’t treated as a first class activity. Resources with little or no understanding of deploying applications get assigned, the requirements aren’t clearly defined, inferior tools are selected and the test plan is non-existent.