Software Configuration Management Patterns


Resources to Learn More

While you don't need to understand patterns to get value from a book on patterns, you can get more value from working with patterns if you understand what they are about.

To learn more about patterns and pattern languages:

  • The Hillside Group, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving human communication about computers by encouraging people to codify common programming and design practice, has a page of resources about patterns: The page has links to many resources about patterns, as well to links to existing software patterns and pattern languages.
  • Brad Appleton wrote an Introduction to patterns, which has pointers to many excellent books about patterns, both in software and in the world of building architecture, where the idea of patterns originated.

To learn more about SCM patterns:

  • Steve and Brad's book: Software Configuration Management Patterns: Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration [10] is a published pattern language about SCM patterns that focus on teams that want to use SCM practices effectively.
  • has links to resources for those interested in learning more about SCM Patterns, including a reference card for the patterns:

For help with introducing patterns:

  • Fear less: Introducing New Ideas into Organizations by Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising, from Addison-Wesley, October 2004. There is a draft of some of the material on the web.
  • Becoming a Technical Leader. (New York, NY: Dorset House, 1986) by Gerry Weinberg is an excellent book that discusses how "leadership" happens at many levels in an organization.


There are many teams that have problems with basic SCM issues, where SCM isn't facilitating communication and teamwork, but doing more the opposite. The problem isn't a lack of tools; there are many good tools, both free and commercial. Rather, the problem is that people don't understand how SCM practices fit into their environment. Pattern thinking is one way to help people understand how everything is related.


[1] E. Gottesdiener, Requirements by Collaboration : Workshops for Defining Needs. Boston: Addison-Wesley, 2002.

[2] S. Dart, The Past, Present, and Future of Configuration Management, SEI Report Number: CMU/SEI-92-TR-8 ESC-TR-92--8

[3] W. J. Brown, H. W. McCormick, and S. W. Thomas, AntiPatterns and Patterns in Software Configuration Management. New York: Wiley, 1999.

[4] S. P. Berczuk and B. Appleton, Software Configuration Management Patterns : Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley, 2003.

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