Conference Schedule

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A Little South Sanity

A Talk presented by Brian Luft


Wednesday, September 7th 1:30 p.m.–2:10 p.m.




South is a useful tool in agile development environments, but learning to use it effectively can take some practice. In this demo-driven talk we'll walk through some common workflow examples, disect a couple pitfalls, and call out the relative strengths and weaknesses of South as a tool at each step. Finding South's sweet spot for your environment will give you the best results.


The talk is based on observations and lessons learned from a few years of using South on large projects, with different teams and team makeups (mixes of developers, creative staff, etc.), and common questions on IRC / mailing list.

The demos will move quickly; a working understanding of creating and applying South migrations will be assumed. We'll make changes to a sample project, sometimes get ourselves into trouble, and pull back the curtains to figure out the best approach.

While going through the demos we'll take opportunities to learn how to consider:

  • Impact on invidual developers
  • Impact on other teammates / staff
  • Impact on development and deployment environments
  • Whether South can represent your desired operation in a sane manner
  • Long-term code maintenance
  • Testing changes and undoing messes

One thing I've found is that different teams and developers have varying philosophies about managing South migration histories over time. We'll put these ideas into context and audience members should come away with a good feeling about how to best use South for their particular needs.