Don’t need ALM you say? Balony. If you are doing any kind of software development beyond File: New: Homework Assignment, you are already doing Application Lifecycle Management. If you’re not aware of that, then you’re probably doing it badly as well.
This is much more true than a lot of people would like to admit. Have you ever witnessed the sense of revelation on a developer’s face when they first discover what source control can really do for them? Seen someone go from thinking it might be useful for a large team to realizing that it’s indispensible for a single coder? The same is true of ALM. There are two reasons many people don’t know this yet:
- The same myth, that it’s only for large groups, and
- The relative infancy of some of the tools, and the lack of integration between them.
But you don’t have to spend very long with a good tool like StarTeam, which doesn’t do all of ALM, but does a very important subset of it known as software configuration management (SCM) very well, to have a similar feeling of revelation.
ALM tools allow you to optimize use of your time. This is counterintuitive to those new to the ALM arena since the tools available today frequently have rather steep learning curves. But anyone who has ever released a product lacking a critical feature which somehow slipped through the cracks, or had 20/20 hindsight that feature B would have been a lot easier to implement if they had done feature A first, is seeing a small bit of the value of good use of ALM tools.
Since this is starting to sound like a Borland ad, I’ll say that Borland is still getting its house in order here. StarTeam, Delphi, Together, and other Borland offerings are all very good tools in their own right, but still have a ways to go towards becoming a seamless solution. The point is not to promote a specific tool, but to say that if you’re under the impression that your situation doesn’t require a full SCM solution, or you can do without a requirement managements system, consider the way you worked before you learned about version control, and compare it to what you do today.