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Software Configuration Management Patterns: Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration Paperback – November 14, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Effective software configuration management (SCM) strategies promote a healthy, team-oriented culture that produces better software. Software Configuration Management Patterns alleviates software engineers' most common concerns about software configuration management—perceived rigidity and an overemphasis on process.

Through the use of patterns, the authors show that a properly managed workflow can avert delays, morale problems, and cost overruns. The patterns approach illustrates how SCM can be easily and successfully applied in small- to mid-size organizations. By learning how these patterns relate to each other, readers can avoid common mistakes that too often result in frustrated developers and reduced productivity.

Key coverage includes instruction on how to:

  • Develop the next version of a product while fixing problems with the current one.
  • Develop code in parallel with other developers and join up with the current state of codeline.
  • Identify what versions of code went into a particular component.
  • Analyze where a change happened in the history of a component's development.
  • Use current tools more effectively, and decide when to use a manual process.
  • Incrementally introduce good practices into individual workspaces and throughout the organization.
  • Identify crucial aspects of the software process so that team projects can run smoothly.
  • Build and foster a development environment focused on producing optimal teamwork and quality products.
  • Software Configuration Management Patterns also includes a detailed list of SCM tools and thorough explanations of how they can be used to implement the patterns discussed in the book. These proven techniques will assist readers to improve their processes and motivate their workforce to collaborate in the production of higher quality software.


    About the Author

    Stephen P. Berczuk has been developing object-oriented software applications since 1989, often as part of geographically distributed teams. He has been an active member of the Software Patterns community since the first PLoP conference in 1994, and did early work on the relationship between organization, software architecture, and design patterns. He has an M.S. in Operations Research from Stanford University and an S.B. in Electrical Engineering from MIT.

    Brad Appleton has been a software developer since 1987 and has extensive experience using, developing, and supporting SCM environments for teams of all shapes and sizes. A former Patterns++ section editor for the C++ Report, Brad is also well versed in object-oriented design and agile software development, and cofounded the Chicago Patterns and Chicago Agile Development Groups. He holds an M.S. in Software Engineering and a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics.


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    Product Details

    • Paperback: 218 pages
    • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (November 14, 2003)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0201741172
    • ISBN-13: 978-0201741179
    • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 9 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    More About the Author

    As a software developer, Scrum Master, and software configuration management expert Steve has spent more than 20 years helping teams work together effectively through effective engineering, SCM, and project management practices. Steve is a Certified Scrum Master (Practicing), and a member of the Agile Alliance, IEEE and ACM You can find some of Steve's articles and his blog at

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael Cohn on January 8, 2006
    Format: Paperback
    I knew this book would be different from the use of "Teamwork" in its subtitle. Many of the configuration managers with whom I've worked through the years demonstrated an attitude that was about anything but teamwork. They viewed their job as protecting the source code (and other assets) of a project to the point of getting in the way of the developers. So based on its subtitle, I had very high hopes for this book. I was not let down. This book is excellent.

    The book starts with a couple of introductory chapters and then devotes a chapter to each of 16 patterns. I really like that the book devotes a full chapter to each pattern (and therefore covers substantial patterns) rather than covering each in two pages as is often the case in patterns books.

    As a coach and trainer of agile software development teams, I am often asked by these teams how they handle the software configuration management with such fast-moving processes. These excellent and highly readable book has collected a wonderful set of practices and will become a part of the standard canon I recommend to clients.
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Sayko on December 9, 2002
    Format: Paperback
    This exceptionally clear and extremely concise handbook is a must read for all SCM practitioners. The book is filled with practical advice to solve classic configuration management problems that arise on software projects.
    The book begins with an overview of SCM concepts and a discussion of the role of SCM in agile software development. This discussion dispels the myth that software configuration management must be process heavy to be effective.
    Much of the book consists of a description of patterns (i.e., problems that occur over and over again) related to software configuration management. Each pattern is described in a brief chapter that begins with a question about a common SCM problem. For example, the chapter on the task level commit pattern begins with the question, "How much work should you do between submissions to the version control system?"
    Each chapter that presents an SCM pattern describes the circumstances in which the pattern is relevant. The authors explain the pattern with the help of easy-to-understand diagrams and brief narratives of situations from real software projects in which the pattern is relevant. Most chapters also include relevant references to books and papers that elaborate on material covered in the chapter.
    Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this book is that an SCM engineer can reference it when speaking to project management and members of the development team about common SCM pitfalls and practical techniques that can be used to correct or avoid these pitfalls.
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 2002
    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    Following the extremely clear patterns-based view of SCM presented in this book is allowing my organization to greatly improve our SCM processes. The patterns approach has quickly improved the communication of our process- making SCM easily understood by CM people, developers, and managers. This book and the Bays book (Software Release Methodlogy) can be combined to develop a effective, repeatable, improving SCM and release process.
    To support other readers' comments (and update my review): Using a pattern language to describe SCM process has been helping people on my teams to take a more proactive role in SCM activities- identifying well thought-out branching scenarios, and how to manage their work areas (and work) to complete parallel development tasks. Impressive how describing parts of the process using several simple behavior patterns simplifies things...
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 18, 2004
    Format: Paperback
    I'm a fan of patterns because of the succinct way they convey knowledge and practices, so I rushed out to purchase this book. I was not disappointed for a number of reasons. First, it is true to the concept of patterns, and second, it is all practical with no ivory tower preaching.
    The patterns given in this book comprise a complete picture of software configuration management, and will allow you to fully understand the scope and complexity of implementing, managing and continuously improving an SCM process. From the following list you'll see that these patterns are end-to-end:
    - Mainline and active development line, both of which are designed to manage baselines, as well as to promote stability in the code base.
    - Private Workspace, repository, private versioning, and private system build patterns are the essence of SCM as well as reflecting best practices in team-oriented integration and testing while preserving the integrity of the code base.
    - Third party codeline is an interesting pattern that I've not encountered, but one that is highly useful when you are working with subcontractors, or have outsourced some development. The patterns for task level commit and task branches are also useful approaches to team-oriented development, whether internal or distributed among subcontractors.
    - Codeline policy, smoke and unit test patterns govern the SCM process and prepare for the transition from development to QA. These are core patterns that are directly tied to the development process.
    - Release line, release prep codeline, and regression test patterns cover the promotion to QA and release management portions of the development process.
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