Dan Wellman: What question do you wish I asked you?
Steve Berczuk: The question that may be the least interesting on the surface to many—but which explains a lot about my perspective—is "How did you get interested in SCM?" The short answer is that I was fortunate to start my career with people who understood that release build, SCM, and coding skills are all part of the software development process that programmers follow rather than distinct disciplines. Working there, I learned how to avoid issues that seem to haunt most of the subsequent organizations I’ve worked with. Because of this, I felt that it was important to share a development-centric perspective on SCM. This ties very much into why I'm attracted to agile software development: Agile focuses on removing obstacles to delivery. SCM can help with that, too.
Dan Wellman: Thank you for helping me better understand the world of SCM. I enjoyed our discussion. Reflecting on this interview, I find it interesting that many of your answers bring up the social and interpersonal aspects of working on a software team. It sounds like you're saying SCM is not simply a software tool and a set of procedures to follow.
Steve Berczuk: If I can stretch a media metaphor (with apologies to Marshall McLuhan): If code is the message a team communicates with, the SCM process is the medium that communication occurs in. And it's hard to reasonably separate them.
Steve Berczuk is an engineer and ScrumMaster at Humedica where he's helping to build next-generation SaaS-based clinical informatics applications. The author of Software Configuration Management Patterns: Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration , he is a recognized expert in software configuration management and agile software development. Steve is passionate about helping teams work effectively to produce quality software.