Following on from the last rule, it does not take a genius to realize that an improvement in build time from five minutes to one minute will increase development productivity by double digit percentages over the length of a project.  

For example, imagine a developer does 35 build and tests per day, at five minutes per build.  This means they spend 85 days per year staring at their screen waiting for a build to complete.  Across four developers, that is one full year of time wasted.



Optimize the build script.

This is easiest to do with a single build script.  Most common problems are:

  • Repeating tasks more than once

  • Building expanded directories unnecessarily

  • Going off to the internet to validate XML files against an XSD

  • Fetching libraries again from the internet or checking over the internet to see if the current library versions are out of date (e.g. Maven)

Get the best hardware.

Programmers need good CPUs with lots of memory.  Doubling the memory on a PC can triple the speed of a build script.  A wide screen LCD wouldn't hurt either.

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