Avatar Mike Noordermeer Release early, release often

Mike Noordermeer | Published May 23, 2019

Since the beginning of this year, Eveoh has moved to a new release process. We now release new MyTimetable versions multiple times per month, leading to small and incremental releases. This gives our customers the opportunity to take advantage of new features sooner and avoids lenghty upgrade processes to the latest MyTimetable version.

Until MyTimetable 4.0, we have been using a ‘branched’ version model, where we supported multiple MyTimetable versions at the same time. This led to a complex support operation, where we were maintaining bug fixes for MyTimetable 3.7, 3.8, 3.9 and some early 4.0 versions, while building new features in MyTimetable 3.10 and 4.0 at the same time. Each change in older versions had to be transferred to the newer versions as well, using error-prone ‘merge’ operations. Given the size of our customer base, with more than 40 universities and 750.000 end users, versus the size of our team, five developers, this was no longer a viable operation.

Discussing the situation with the team, we decided to adopt a stricter SCRUM development process. All our work is now scheduled in two week periods, called sprints, and our software is ready to be released at any point in time. We only maintain the latest MyTimetable version, and release as often as necessary for our customers. If customers request a new feature or a bug fix, we implement this in the latest version of our software and ask customers to upgrade to the latest MyTimetable version. This avoids ‘major’ upgrades for customers, and frees us from having to support many different MyTimetable versions.

Our release notes are available as usual on our wiki, but will be kept very short and to the point. All implemented ‘user stories’ will be available in these release notes and we will link to a separate blog post to describe the most important new features.

Our version numbering will change to year.nr based releases, starting with 2019.1 and counting up from there. Once a version has been released, no further changes are made, leading to a consistent experience for customers using the same version of our software.

We are confident these changes to our development process will improve the experience for our customers as well as our development team, enabling us to create better software in a shorter period of time. If you have any questions regarding these changes, please let us know through support@eveoh.nl.