I had briefly blogged about this presentation before from Velocity 2010. I wish they had released the video for this session. I went through this slide deck again today to see if Paul mentioned any of the problems organization like ours are dealing with in its transition from quarterly releases to weekly/continuous releases.
One of the key observations Paul made during his talk is that most organizations still treat web applications as desktop software and have very strict quality controls which may not be as necessary since releasing changes for web app in a SAAS (Software as a service) is much more cheaper than for releasing patches for traditional desktop software.
Here are some of the other points he made. For really detailed info check out the [slides]
- Deploy frequently, facilitating rapid product iteration
- Avoid large merges and the associated integration testing
- Easily perform A/B testing of functionality
- Run QA and beta testing on production hardware
- Launch big features without worrying about your infrastructure
- Provide all the switches your operations team needs to manage the deployed system