Monitoring software builds with a traffic light

[JD] at isotope11 was looking for a way to get instant feedback whenever a developer broke a piece of software they were working on. After finding a 48 inch tall traffic light, he knew what he had to do. Now, the entire development team knows the status of their code from a traffic light hanging in the corner.

isotope11 runs a continuous integration server to do the quality assurance on their software projects. It’s a lot more flexible than the ‘compile and pray’ setup we’re used to, but then again C isn’t very well suited to test-driven development. When one of [JD]’s developers breaks a piece of code, the CI server will send a warning to an Arduino where all the electronic magic happens.

To light the traffic light, [JD] used a few relays to drive the 120 volt bulbs in the traffic light. The traffic light is very easy to read – red means something is broken, green means everything is alright, and yellow means a test suite is being run.

Check out the video of [JD]’s TDD visualization after the break.

21 thoughts on “Monitoring software builds with a traffic light

  1. well, ok, but shirley something a but smaller would have done. maybe a little train that carries messages on its carriages?

    you could have it automatically order them in a shunting yard to construct sentences? i am sure this could work

  2. well… actually in the original design, there was no “Traffic light” there was a “Taser in your seat”, and anytime a developer broke a build – they would be the first to know it. But we soon realized that we would never have anyone deploy any code, so we went with “Traffic light”

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