When your team deploys a new component of one of your applications, it’s useful to know exactly who did what as far as coding, review, and testing. If nothing else, knowing who reviewed or tested a particularly buggy component can tell you whom you need to see about the problem. Having this information can also provide you with a prime opportunity to provide feedback to team members and potentially improve your deployment processes because you are speaking directly with the people involved in a particular deployment.

On small-scale projects, it’s easy to keep track of this information: Bob did the coding, Sally reviewed it, and John did the testing. On larger-scale projects, particularly multiplatform applications that involve resources managed by more than one team or department, it can be impossible to remember who did what when, never mind coordinating the activities of all the individuals involved.

That’s where the Builder.com deployment log can help. The keeper of the deploy log, usually the QA manager, acts as the gatekeeper of files being deployed and is naturally a great candidate for tracking whos, whats, wheres, whens, and whys of the development process. The spreadsheet is an effective tool for spotting potential version conflicts if two developers happen to be working on different versions of the same file. Likewise, it can be easily used to sort by file types, which can be useful for separating, say, Java source files from SQL scripts during peer code reviews.

Download the Builder.com deploy log
The Builder/TechRepublic engineering team uses an Excel worksheet as a deployment log, enabling them to keep track of this important information. We created a slightly modified version of this log for you to use in your own organization. You can download it here. The log has columns for the entry of the filename to be deployed, the name of the developer, reviewer, DBA, and tester of each component, and an associated bug or issue tracking number. There is also a set of built-in autofilters to make looking for a particular entry easy.

Because the Builder Web site is essentially one big Web application, our deploy log will be immediately useful for anyone managing a Web site or similar application. However, some columns might not be exact fits for your project or team structure, so a bit of assembly might be required. Either way, feel free to modify the log to make it work best for you and your organization.

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