Summary: Pinger improved the efficiency and scalability of software development operations with DevOps powered by CloudBees CI.
Challenge: Launching new products and features in rapid iterations to exceed customer demands, comply with changing market regulations and stay ahead of the competition.
Solution: Adopted the CloudBees Starter Kit to jumpstart the implementation of CI and CD process automation and manage pipelines more efficiently.
More efficient and faster software development
Greater ability to get and stay ahead of competition
Improved enterprise visibility over development efforts
Lower development costs
Faster time to market
Improved security and compliances
Products: CloudBees Starter Kit
Need to add a second number to your smartphone to keep your personal number private? Want to chat for free without a carrier plan? Then you need Pinger, the San Jose, Calif.-based company that is changing the way people and small to medium businesses communicate.
In the ever-morphing mobile communications industry, a great product today only gets you so far. The reality is, if you’re not constantly innovating, you’re probably losing ground and your competitors are leap-frogging ahead. To stay ahead, Pinger needed to keep introducing new features that its customers and telecom partners demand at breakneck speed. A change in engineering philosophy was in order and DevOps was the answer. Pinger turned to CloudBees and adopted the CloudBees Starter Kit to quickly build and implement a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform designed to deliver more products and features faster to its customers and stay ahead in a competitive, compliance-driven marketplace.
"For the first time, code-writing engineers can see their products go live in minutes rather than weeks...Now they can write a feature and see it get to production within minutes. It just makes us nerds happy."Adam Robertson
Head of DevOps
Transforming Software Development to Get and Stay Ahead
To innovate faster, Pinger needed to engage in new ways for efficient software development. Pinger engineering successes had been achieved, in part, through methods without automated processes to improve workflow between engineers and operations.
"There was a need to improve coordination between engineers and operations,” says Adam Robertson, Head of DevOps, at Pinger. “Once the engineers wrote the code, the QA team would start a week’s worth of testing that included manually run old Perl scripts to deploy it to our infrastructure.”
Without automated processes at the ready, building and deploying new product features could extend Pinger’s software development cycles, risking product roadmap goals.
Another concern was quality: “Our development process was too manual and the involvement of disparate teams could delay debugging. Being able to change that to a fully automated CI/CD process is a huge goal for us and is an essential part of our overall business strategy,” said Robertson.
Use CloudBees CI to Build and Implement a High-Efficiency DevOps Program
Pinger’s move to DevOps meant changing how engineers traditionally worked. “Our team was encouraged with the improvements,” notes Robertson. “We had to make changes and we had to make them quickly so we dove right in,” he says.
Getting Started Quickly
To get up and running fast, Pinger chose the CloudBees Starter Kit, a fast, affordable way to launch a DevOps program. "I was introduced to this option at the DevOps World-Jenkins World conference and got excited about it,” says Robertson.
The Starter Kit gives three development teams unconstrained access to CloudBees CI and CloudBees DevOptics, a solution that helps measure and improve DevOps performance. The Starter Kit also includes a remote Quickstart engagement with CloudBees professional services. "With the Starter Kit, we could get on the cloud fast and not worry about scaling,” Robertson says. "CloudBees professional services was invaluable in getting the DevOps team members started quickly.”
With the introduction of CloudBees CI, Pinger has shortened development cycles dramatically and improved coordination between engineers and operations. This was a big change in mindset for development teams. "Now they can write a feature and see it get to production within minutes,” says Robertson. "It just makes us nerds happy.”
To date, several software teams at Pinger have moved over to CloudBees, and the development group is now focusing on onboarding some of the largest teams, specifically those responsible for building software for Pinger’s mobile platforms. "If we can launch new versions of the software into the store in an automated process on a weekly basis, that will make a huge impact,” Robertson says.
Soon, Pinger will be using CloudBees DevOptics to measure, manage and optimize the entire software delivery process. "This was a huge selling point for our executive team because we’ll have complete visibility, be able to easily see where our bottlenecks are and that will keep us improving and moving faster,” he said.
As it ramps up its DevOps platform, Pinger expects to deliver new features even faster, and delight more customers in the process. Ideally, the platform will help Pinger respond to customer requests for new functionality in a matter of days. "When the team is successful in getting out new features, we’ll see the impact in new signups and more revenue per customer,” says Robertson.
For teams that have moved to CloudBees CI, production bottlenecks are no longer an issue. Engineers have learned to create more efficient pipelines and write quality-assurance tests in parallel with writing the code. And because CloudBees puts the development process in the cloud, teams are working in more scalable environments, so tests run significantly faster. “Everything is just faster and easier, which has helped boost morale,” says Robertson.
"Recently, when we opened a ticket, the engineer finished it the next morning and it was pushed out by 1:00 p.m. That’s less than a 24-hour turnaround for a new feature,” says Robertson. "That’s a significant improvement and hours that our engineers can spend writing code.”
With the CloudBees Starter Kit, Pinger teams have access to a catalog of free training resources as well. "There’s tons of training we’ve been able to get from the CloudBees portal, including an eight-hour class for developers. That’s a great option for our developers,” says Robertson.
With CloudBees CI, teams operate on the same version, giving managers a central view of overall development efforts and easing administrative tasks. "With CloudBees, if there’s a security update, I don’t have to do it twelve times,” Robertson says. "The centralization of management has been invaluable.”
What’s more, CloudBees has optimized the way Pinger writes code. "The fact that we can push code out within minutes, not weeks, has changed how the engineers structure their sprint cycles,” says Robertson, adding that the move to DevOps and CI/CD has reset everybody’s mindset of what is possible.
"Today, when engineers finish writing code, CloudBees CI runs a full set of unit, integration, acceptance and regression tests and it deploys to production in under 30 minutes,” Robertson says.
"Getting a new feature coded, into our pipeline and released makes our customers happy and more likely to tell their friends about us,” says Robertson.
"With CloudBees CI, we now have a company-wide view of our development environment -- how it goes through the QA process and how it goes through all the individual automated tests and then gets pushed out to production,” Robertson says.
"Everything is just faster,” says Robertson. "Product teams are energized because they’ll come up with an idea and then send it to an engineer, and it’s into production within a day.”
More cost effective.
"From what I’ve seen so far of CloudBees CI, it does everything we want it to do. If the software improves your productivity as much as CloudBees does, then the benefits outweigh the costs,” Robertson says.
"With CloudBees in the cloud, we never have to worry about scaling. There are no capacity bottlenecks,” Robertson says.
Faster time to market.
"Engineers are so impressed that they can design a new feature and have it production-ready less than a week later,” Robertson says.