What is a release? Vanessa Gil, Head of Development at Pandora FMS explains
This post is also available in : Spanish
What is a release and how to launch a new one each month
What is a release? As many of you know, one stormy autumn night Pandora FMS team climbed to the most abrupt and outstanding peak of the surrounding area and swore, above all, to launch a release with new features and updates every month, whether it rained or thundered. And since that illustrious day, new releases have been launched to the delight of our followers.
So far so good, now you just have to know “what is a release?” to understand how lucky we are that they are released following such a strict interval. To explain it, I don’t think there is a more qualified person than the one in charge of them, our Head of Development, Vanessa Gil.
What is a release?
From time to time, usually every month, we release updates that contain bug fixes and new features. That is what is commonly known as “release”.
It may seem little time and sometimes it is hard, but that way we have a product that evolves and offers solutions to customers smoothly.
What kind of innovations do they usually include?
The new features that we include are sometimes directly requested by our clients through the support service or through the commercial team. Others are requested by our own Project or Support colleagues. They directly deal with our clients and can identify future needs. On the other hand, we have our beloved Open users, who give us ideas through the forum or point out bugs. All of this in addition to the features planned in the product roadmap that is defined every year. All these suggestions or bugs are recorded in the form of tickets. Each release usually has about 100 tickets, which is not bad at all!
What is the process to create one?
First, we identify the need for a certain feature. Then a functional is elaborated where it is detailed, a ticket is created with all this and it gets scheduled for a specific release. Later on, it is assigned to the developer who works on it until it is finished and it then goes to the QA team that makes us suffer until validated and closed. During this stage, our QA colleagues carry out a series of functionality tests to ensure that it meets quality standards. They also make sure we don’t forget to document it! Once validated, the ticket is closed and the feature becomes part of the product.
What is the most difficult part?
I can’t really point out the hardest part, we’ve gone through everything! Very ambitious features, overly optimistic plans that make it difficult to get to the deadline, misunderstandings… All the pieces of the process have to fit in order for everything to work smoothly, that’s the really difficult part.
How do you avoid stressing out launching one a month?
The key is planning! It is a lot of work and a lot of effort for the whole team to keep up, but we are learning from past drawbacks to avoid future ones. We have more difficult releases than others but, in general, we try to have realistic goals so that each ticket can be given the necessary time.
Do you feel even a little satisfaction by keeping up this pace that very few keep?
Of course! We launch monthly releases with an average of 100 tickets including bug fixes and new features. It is worth being very proud and satisfied!
Do you have a favorite release? The one that involved the most effort or the one you had the best time working on, for example.
My favorite releases are the simplest! I’m that practical and boring. The truth is that all of them are usually intense because we try to publish as many tickets as possible, but each one is different. There are some that contain changes in delicate components or simply get complicated and others where everything flows smoothly. These are my favorites, the ones that flow smoothly, hands down!
Any message for people waiting for these monthly releases as if they were singles from Bad Bunny or Justin Bieber?
You would be surprised at the amount of downloads we have after just publishing! Each release bears the work of the whole team and it is satisfying to see that there are customers and users waiting for them. Greetings to all of them!