Deployment Horror Stories – Development Artifacts to Production

deployment mistakes

Last week I had to deploy a fix to production. It was a small fix, low risk change. It was my first time deploying this application and the instructions were very simple to follow.

However, I made a mistake and broke the application. The good news was that this mistake only affected our internal employees.

After debugging for 30 minutes, my colleague read the configuration file and its settings belong to our development servers. We had to re-deploy the application but now with the production files.

I kicked off a new production build and this time I made sure that I copied the production artifacts instead of development artifacts.

The deployment was successful and our application was back in business.

What I learned from this experience?

I learned that manual deployments are prone to human errors. In this case, it did not impact our external customers. Only a handful of people were impacted and after deploying the right artifacts, we were back to normal operations.

To avoid these mistakes in the future, I’m automating our deployment process with tools like Octopus Deploy and AWS CodeDeploy.

Let me know what you or your team is doing to avoid these mistakes.