Off to a Better Neos Release Process

The technical side of the Neos release process is a wild mixture of automated and manual tasks. Some areas are properly documented and some are just known to the elders of the tribe. In fact, I was probably the one, who has a broad overview of the process and tools… until last weeks topic sprint.

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Hosted by sitegeist we met in Hamburg for a "Release Process" topic sprint, a small and very focused sprint dedicated to improving the release process, it's documentation and tools. Moderated by Gina three developers (Martin, Wilhelm and myself) discussed the existing process and devised a plan to improve it. Sadly Gerhard and Christian could not make it to Hamburg, but at least we already know there are more people on board for the future…

We started on Thursday with an EventStorming session to get the release process on the wall, visualized for the first time ever. On Friday we spent some time discussing the hotspots we had identified. What went wrong in the past, where can things break and why.

This post was first published in the Flownative blog last week. Over there are some more details on what we did on those days and how we approached the tasks.

In the end we began to write down a first list of todo items and notes, outlining the process we had visualized. Since some of those items were actually known already and even existed as GitHub issues, we opted for GitHub as the future home of anything related to the release process. A new repository will hold issues, code and documentation related to the release process (the technical side, that is, as opposed to the "public view".) We set up a project board, defined some labels and transferred all existing relared issues to their new home.

Our next step is to transform the todo items from the sprint into issues, labeled and ready to be solved. The second task to solve for the first of our milestones is to complete evaluation of Jenkins as the pipeline solution. If nothing stops us, we will continue to work on the next milestones as planned, and Gerhard and Martin can release Neos 4.3 (together with Flow 5.3) with a shiny new build process toolchain.

If you want to help, stop by in the #guild-release channel over on and get involved!

Wilhelm and Marting working on our EventStorming canvas

Wilhelm and Marting working on our EventStorming canvas.