e-Talk Radio: Paulk, Mark, 28 November 2000

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we hadn't coordinated our use of that file. That was kind of my introduction to the need for change control and version control. And I started learning about things like configuration management. And we, from a technical perspective, kind of reinvented a lot of that before I ever realized that there was actually a field called software configuration management. And it is possible for some fairly sizable companies to actually lose their source code.

In Newsweek a few weeks ago, there was a brief little article about Pixar when they were getting ready to do the Toy Story II DVD release. They were getting ready to put the movie on the CD, and they realized that they couldn't find about 17 percent of the digital animation files for the movie.

Carol: Wow.

Mark: This is not good news. And after they scurried around looking on various people's workstations and things like that, they found most of the missing animation. But there was about one percent of the movie, according to the article, that they had to reproduce from scratch. And so if you actually lose the master files or something, that is millions and millions of dollars in profit expected to come from it, that's a very nerve-racking experience. I would guess that they have put some new configuration management procedures in that company so that they have the base lines and they have the mark out of the way, and you don't lose the golden egg, if you will. And that kind of thing happens all too often in organizations that don't have a good configuration management system in place.

About the author

Carol Dekkers's picture Carol Dekkers

Carol A. Dekkers is President of Quality Plus Technologies, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in creating peace of mind for companies who want to improve their software processes. Software measurement, software quality, process improvement, requirements, and software sizing (using function point analysis, as an example) are a few of the Quality Plus areas of specialization.

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