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Symbolic Violence Beats Lava Lamps All To Pieces 128

cdance writes "Traditional Lava Lamps, and of course email, are the tools of choice to notify your dev team that the build in your continuous integration system is broken. However, lava lamps, just like pink curtains and shag pile, don't really fit into the culture of many modern development teams. There is now a solution. Retaliation is a new Jenkins CI build monitor that automatically coordinates a foam missile counter-attack against the developer who breaks the build. It does this by playing a pre-programmed control sequence to a USB Foam Missile Launcher to target the offending code monkey."
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Symbolic Violence Beats Lava Lamps All To Pieces

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  • The 90's called (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:17PM (#37171804)

    They want their bubble era development culture back.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:19PM (#37171836)

    My job uses approximately the same tactics, although instead of a python script we have Dave the Project Manager, and instead of a foam missile launcher, Dave has a baseball bat. You see, unlike traditional product managers who have a background in, well, project management, Dave has a background in being a large and terrifying individual. So, our code builds every damn time.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:21PM (#37171876) Homepage

    If you have a giant build, your design is not modular enough. Above some size, it's time to go to multiple intercommunicating programs.

  • by HarrySquatter ( 1698416 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:25PM (#37171934)

    If you have a giant build, your design is not modular enough.

    That makes no sense. You can have a modular system and still make changes the require giant builds. For example, if your module is something in the base of your system it will usually require you to recompile most of the rest of the system. Being modular will not stop that because you need to make sure that what you did in that one module does not break the pieces that use it. Secondly, what you seem to be complaining about is rather that people might not be doing incremental builds using make or a make-like tool. So, yes, if you are always rebuilding the entire system for no purpose that is stupid.

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:35PM (#37172062)
    Because I find things like this to be juvenile.
  • Re:The 90's called (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plover ( 150551 ) * on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:53PM (#37172256) Homepage Journal

    They want their bubble era development culture back.

    No, that was me calling. I wanted to go back to the 90s era development culture, as we seemed to get a lot more done back then.

  • Demeaning != Fun (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2011 @06:00PM (#37172322)

    That launcher just looks like another small way to degrade people.

    If I worked in an office that did that, I would ensure the launcher kept on having mysterious accidents that rendered it inoperable. Like somehow falling 10 stories out of an open window.

  • Sigh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2011 @06:04PM (#37172366)

    So we've got two different ways of handling errors here. Say I made a serious mistake like breaking the build that 1000 people have to work on. Company A looks into how the mistake happened and exactly what needs to be done to avoid the mistake happening again, be that changing the procedure I used (e.g. running tests), training of me and coworkers to make sure we know to follow the procedure or automating the failed step so that we can't do it wrong (e.g. have the build server run tests before checking something in). Perhaps something can be done to mitigate the seriousness if such a mistake happens in the future, such as an automatic roll-back on the server. Company B's solution, on the other hand, is to humiliate me so spectacularly that I'll try my best not to cause a problem again.
      What'll really happen is that I'll try my best to ditch company B in favor of a professional setup like company A. So company B ends up with the people who can't get to a better place. Don't manage errors by humiliating whomever you think is responsible, have the whole company learn from the error instead. If one guy could make a mistake, we could ALL make that mistake on a bad day. Blaming one guy doesn't solve that, learning and preventing the mistake from happening again does.

  • by CHK6 ( 583097 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @06:15PM (#37172478)
    I once recall the care free office antics of yesterday. Where software developers were called "code monkeys" and silly games of Nerf and office parties lasted all night long. Then the bubble burst and the glitter spilled out, I had to grow up and drop my engineering balls, only to have them cut off after layoffs. Now I come to a job where my title is Systems Engineer and parties are best left to managers. I wear an id badge with some long meaningless number linked to my IRS tax forms. I have to turn in daily SCRUM updates, weekly Sprint updates, monthly team updates, quarterly employee evaluations, and year reviews. If I break the build I get a shit storm from my co-workers and getting to be known by managers as the reason why we slipped a milestone date that was arbitrarily imagined by someone that hasn't coded in 25+ years.

    But hey, that's really cute toy you have there. Your scripting abilities are coming along nicely.
  • by CadentOrange ( 2429626 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @06:17PM (#37172492)
    You're obviously not a developer, or you're working in a place that's so dull it might be time to change jobs. As a developer, I absolutely dig this (and there's a 1/3 chance of me breaking the build in my team)!
  • Re:The 90's called (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2011 @06:21PM (#37172534)

    Let me guess, you were born sometime after 1990, weren't you?

    In the 1990s and the very early 2000s, this kind of behavior never happened at places making real profit. Why? Because developers at a place like that are too fucking busy making money. They are also talented enough to not fuck up constantly, and don't need goddamn build failure lights or co-workers hitting them in the genitals with foam sports equipment.

    We only ever saw this nonsense at places made up of fools. You know, the sorts of places where they hired people with useless Sociology degrees to be programmers because they once turned on a Commodore 64 in their youth. When you put enough of these idiots together, especially doing work they have absolutely no clue how to do, and you end up with people throwing beach balls around the office rather than getting work done and making money. Oddly enough, these places end up going under! But the work environment was so much fun, the former employees would say. For the six months it lasted before the funding ran out, it was a great time!

    The same thing is happening today. The Web 2.0 bubble is about to burst. We've got many Ruby on Rails "developers" and NoSQL "DBAs" all over the place working on unprofitable applications. They often waste time playing cubicle games instead of working. When the bubble bursts, they'll be out on their asses. Nobody will touch them, thanks to the terrible reputation that Rails and NoSQL are getting these days.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.