Due to a number of circumstances leading to a poor deployment last build cycle, I campaigned in our office to perform all future deployments with a dedicated build machine, and my boss accepted this proposal.
However, instead of getting an actual machine in our office to use, we're having to share a single machine with several other groups - and the hassle of having to leave my office with all the necessary information and then walk down a flight of stairs to another office just to perform a simple build is making me wonder why I ever proposed this in the first place.
The idea of having a separate build machine was, originally, to separate my own locally-written code from the code of several other developers, and to separate any hijacked files I had on my machine from deployment. It was also to resolve a growing concern I've had with our ClearCase file management system, which often refuses to let me deploy certain build activities unless I've also included another activity for which it 'has dependencies'.
Now that I'm actually going forward with this process, I'm wondering if I misunderstood the entire purpose of using a build machine - and since we're only using this machine for code deployment to our Test, Staging and Production environments, and not for our personal Developer testing deployments, I'm not sure it serves any purpose at all.
So, what is the actual reason for using a build machine, and have I even come close to using it correctly?