“Pragmatic Project Automation”: Putting the computer to work

Raleigh, NC–They say the cobbler’s children have no shoes. Well, the
same goes for programmers—they are missing out on the very benefits
they provide to others.

Computers are very good at repetitive, menial tasks. Building and
assembling software packages, creating releases, and testing to
ensure that no new bugs crept in are all areas where the computer can
help. The computer never gets tired; it can build and test the
software we write continually, alerting the entire team the minute
something goes wrong. With that constant safety net in place,
problems can be found quickly–and fixed cheaply.

But, incredibly, fewer than 1/3 of development shops in the U.S.
bother to run that most basic of automation tasks, the daily build.
No wonder most software projects fail to deliver on their promises.
If they only knew how easy it was to get started with project
automation. Now that Volume III of the Pragmatic Starter Kit is
available, they can.

In “Pragmatic Project Automation” (Pragmatic Bookshelf, $29.95 US,
ISBN 0-9745140-3-9) author Mike Clark explains in clear, easy steps
how to enlist the computer to build, test, deploy, and monitor
applications in the Java environment. Using freely available
software, Mike shows readers how to set up and maintain all of the
systems needed.

Having the computer perform all of this work is a great start, but
then the computer needs to let the team know what’s going on. Imagine
having your build machine light up a red lava-style lamp when the
build first fails, or receiving a message on your cell phone when the
tests stop working. Mike shows you how.

Why should programmers and development teams bother with all of this
automation? Mike tells us, “Frankly, you’ve got better things to do
than piece together builds, follow checklists full of release
commands, copy files around on servers, and monitor running programs.
So automation will give you back something you don’t have enough of:
time. And with the global competition for development work heating up
(and increased outsourcing), you have to be as productive as

Written in the same approachable, entertaining style as “The
Pragmatic Programmer” and the other Starter Kit volumes, “Pragmatic
Project Automation” is suitable for beginner to advanced programmers,
system administrators, team leads and project managers.

Readers of this book will:
* Discover how automation saves time and money * Learn to use common,
freely available tools to automate build, test, and release procedures
* Learn effective ways to keep on top of problems for the whole project team
* Use automation to create better code
* See how to create and deploy releases easily and automatically *
Explore techniques that let programs monitor themselves and report

Reviewer Praise
“Where has this book been all my life?! Mike Clark’s clear, concise,
and fun style has me on the edge of my seat eager to find out what
trick is next. His CruiseControl RSS publisher is already in action
on my projects, and even more of these gems are working their way
into my routine. Lava Lamps and Groovy–the hippest software book
ever!” –Erik Hatcher, Co-author of “Java Development with Ant” and
“Lucene in Action”

“I’m going to staple this book to my desk, so it doesn’t
‘disappear.'” –David Rupp, Sr. Software Engineer, Great-West Life &

“If you’ve ever hoped to find a technical book that gave solid,
usable examples that you can apply in real life rather than just
throwing lofty-sounding buzzwords about, then this book is it. This
book is full of solid, down-to-earth advice from one of our
industry’s thought leaders. Everything in this book is relevant and
practical (pragmatic even 🙂 and will aid every project that takes
its advice to heart. This book will be mandatory reading on all of my
projects from this time forth. I unreservedly and wholeheartedly
endorse this book.” –Simon P. Chappell, Technical Lead, Lands’ End,

“Once again, the Pragmatic team has written exactly what working
programmers need. Doing the things this book describes saves each
member of our team hours of grief and frustration every time we do a
release. Overall, I think this is an excellent addition to the
lineup–it’s valuable stuff, and the writing and examples are very
clear.” –Greg Wilson, Hewlett-Packard

Pragmatic Project Automation
How to Build, Deploy, and Monitor Java Applications by Mike Clark
ISBN 0-9745140-3-9, 176 pages, $29.95 US, $43.95 CA, softcover

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