March 9, 2017

How to Signal that the Build is Broken? Look for UFOs!: Notes from the March 7th Lean Coffee, Ministry of Testing-Boston

When developing software, mistakes happen. When multiple developers are working on the same project, the mistakes of one developer affects all the others, so it is important that you make sure your code compiles, that it passes all the unit and integration tests other developers have set up.

If you check in code and merge it haphazardly into the main branch of whatever source control system you are using, errors may prevent the build process that sets the web app to run. Your changes? You "broke the build", temporarily preventing your colleagues from doing any work on that shared project. This is a minor problem... unless you merged in your code just before going home. If that happened, you just prevented anyone who wanted to work the late shift from getting any work done.

If only there was some type of sign, some type of visual cue that the build was broken!

Tuesday night, during the Ministry of Testing - Boston's Lean CoffeeAndreas Grabner, a Technology Strategist at Dynatrace, showed us that there was.

Imagine: You finally solved the problem you had been working on all day, merged your code, and packed up for the day. Heading for the exit, you see this:

"Look! It's a Sign! A Sign that We Are Hosed!"

Turn around. Go back to your desk. Your code broke the build. You need to go fix it.

This is the Dynatrace DevOps Pipeline State UFO.

Andreas demonstrates the UFO for Ministry of Testing - Boston

As Andreas explains it in his March 6, 2017 article, Using the Dynatrace DevOps Pipeline State UFO, "The Dynatrace DevOps Pipeline State UFO was built out of the necessity to visualize alerts, problems, health and CI/CD pipeline state within the Dynatrace R&D organization. It sparked a cultural transformation as it made code quality that we pushed more frequently through our Delivery Pipeline more visible".

Taken from

You can:

Thank you, Andreas!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

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