Build screens (or build monitors, or information radiators) are an important tool in helping to achieve Continuous Integration and in trapping errors early. When the number of build jobs becomes large, it can be tempting to hide ‘successful’ jobs to save space, but we found this to cause problems. I realised that people need to know the context for the red jobs if they are to take prompt action to fix failing builds, so it’s important to represent the full state of all builds by showing green jobs too.
There is in interesting discussion on Daniel Markham’s blog about the Tyranny of the Tools in relation to Agile software development. In a nutshell, “throwing so-called ‘Agile’ tools at development team does not make it Agile”; it’s the ways for thinking and learning which are truly important.