On well executed releases and remote teams

After some blood, sweat and tears, we finally brought Stacksmith into the world, yay!

It’s been a lengthy and intense process that started with putting together a team to be able to build the product in the first place, and taking Bitnami’s experience and some existing tooling to make the cloud more accessible to everyone. It’s been a good week.

However, I learnt something I didn’t quite grasp before: if you find really good people, focus on the right things, scope projects to an achievable goal and execute well, releases lack a certain explosion of emotions that are associated with big milestones. Compounded with the fact that the team that built the product are all working remotely, launch day was pretty much uneventful.
I’m very proud of what we’ve built, we did it with a lot of care and attention, we agonized over trade-offs during the development process, we did load testing to do some capacity planning, added metrics to get hints as to when the user experience would start to suffer, we did CI/CD from day one so deployments were well guarded against breaking changes and did not affect the user experience. We did enough but not too much. We rallied the whole company a few weeks before release to try and break the service, asked people who hadn’t used it before to go through the whole process and document each step, tried doing new and unexpected things with the product. The website was updated! The marketing messaging and material were discussed and tested, analysts were briefed, email campaigns were set up. All the basic checklists were completed. It’s uncommon to be able to align all the teams, timelines and incentives.
What I learned this week is that if you do, releases are naturally boring  🙂

I’m not quite sure what to do with that, there’s a sense of pride when rationalizing it, but I can’t help but feel that it’s a bit unfair that if you do things well enough the intrinsic reward seems to diminish.

I guess what I’m saying is, good job, Bitnami team!

One Comment

  1. Releases, like infrastructure, should be boring. But the gap between theory and reality is sometimes large. Thanks for your hard work in making Stacksmith real. It’s a pleasure to work with you.

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