I saw this thread: How often are new SO versions deployed?

  • You are using CI and unit tests, right?
  • Do you do anything more before pushing out new releases?
  • What kind of guidelines do you follow when writing unit tests?

Basically, I'm wondering how you make sure that each release is good enough.

  • To apply the job there?
    – YOU
    Apr 23, 2011 at 21:03
  • 3
    Jeff explains in depth how the software development process at SO works in his profile. (scroll down the box). Oh, and this
    – Pekka
    Apr 23, 2011 at 21:04
  • hehe, stabilt svar Pekka.
    – jgauffin
    Apr 23, 2011 at 21:10
  • 1
    What are these "unit tests" you speak of??? Also just in case there's any title confusion from the question title, stackexchange.com is a different code base (as are careers and area 51), they're all deployed independently. Apr 23, 2011 at 22:15
  • 3
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! hee hee hee hoo boy you can sure crack a joke
    – Pollyanna
    Apr 24, 2011 at 0:53
  • @Arjan I had a long unbroken line, but deleted that and added one with spaces so it would linebreak without messing up the page format. Using FF 4 it appeared fine to me, but I suppose it messed someone up somewhere, because it indeed has been edited to remove the majority of my LOLing. It's a one-off joke, though, so it's not as though it matters.
    – Pollyanna
    Apr 25, 2011 at 14:33
  • Now I feel stupid for not seeing those spaces, @Adam. ;-) But on the other hand: it's nice that the Firefox bug is consistent then!
    – Arjan
    Apr 25, 2011 at 15:07

3 Answers 3


Herding Code 110 just came out today; it's an interview with two SO developers (Geoff Dalgas and Jarrod Dixon). They discuss some of their process:

  • How do you share data when developing with a remote team? Geoff talks about how they started with the Database Project type, but moved to SQL scripts, ending with a migration tool. Jon gets to say “idempotent”.
  • Geoff and Jarrod talk about how they’ve moved form Subversion to Mercurial.
  • Jon asks how code moves from local development to a production server. Geoff talks about the build and deployment process.
  • Kevin asks how much the process has changed over the years.
  • Geoff talks about how features first hit Meta, then the “others” tier (everything but StackOverflow), then to StackOverflow.

We practice FDD: faith driven development. We believe our code will work.


The software development process is very much test-orientated as I believe that SO engages tens of thousands of regression testers, who are happy to be paid with virtual currency.


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