Earlier this month, 9 members of Gearset embarked on a hackathon. We rented a house in the British countryside, away from the distractions of daily working life, and focused our energy on building one specific feature. At the end of 5 days, we hoped to have a working prototype that we could show our customers, and ship it shortly after.
Since launching in 2015, Gearset has seen its customer base and headcount grow year on year. Today, Gearset's DevOps solution is used by thousands of Salesforce developers worldwide, and the company has offices in Cambridge (UK) and Chicago. To support our continued growth, we're pleased to announce we're expanding our global presence by opening a new office in the tech hub of Belfast.
Anyone familiar with B2B SaaS companies is likely to have come across a number of CSMs. But in some quarters the role is relatively new, and it's still common to come across misconceptions about the part CSMs have to play in their customers' journey. In case of doubt, we're talking here about Customer Success Managers - not Certified Scrum Masters! In this post, I'll explain how Gearset sees the CSM role, what you can expect from your CSM, and why we place so much value on this function.
This summer, six university students took on a 10-week internship at Gearset. I'm the marketing intern, and the other five interns are software engineers. As our internship comes to a close, we thought we'd have a final catchup to reflect on our time at Gearset and share our experiences!
We're delighted to announce our new partnership with Supermums, to help launch its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program. Supermums is a social enterprise and a registered Salesforce Partner on a mission to upskill and empower women with the latest technology skills. With a focus on Salesforce and complementary ISV products, Supermums is tackling gender inequality in the tech industry by increasing the number of women joining the ecosystem with the skills and knowledge to increase their salary potential and enter leadership positions.
Women in Salesforce DevOps is a brand new community initiative that aims to inspire and empower women who are passionate about building on Salesforce. This friendly and inclusive new initiative will connect women from all over the world and give them a space where they can help and support one another along their Salesforce DevOps journeys.
The community's first meetup is happening on the 8th of September at the Madison Rooftop Bar in London, and we want to see you there! Make sure to RSVP now to reserve your space. Read on for more details below!
Here at Gearset we value useful feedback from our users above everything else. We love hearing about all the ways Gearset has made people's lives easier, and we also listen carefully to suggestions our customers have. Last year we partnered with G2, the biggest platform for peer-to-peer reviews of software. G2 is the place to go for reviews, ratings and comparisons of competing software and services, so you can make the best decision for your needs.
Gearset is partnering with a growing number of SIs and Salesforce consultancies across the ecosystem. These Salesforce partners are experts at building business solutions for companies using Salesforce, and they rely on Gearset to handle the challenges of release management on the platform.
Over the years, Gearset has grown alongside our users, matching ambition with precision to provide the best possible DevOps solution for Salesforce. We've navigated our way to become the leading DevOps solution by holding firm to two of our core values: listening to our community, and bringing DevOps best practices to Salesforce.
Gearset thrives at the intersection of these values; always listening to our users and always sharing the progress we're making together. This is why we provide a platform for feature requests and suggestions, publish our roadmap, and even share the stats about how Gearset is being used around the world.
Starting just five years ago, Gearset has grown to become the most widely used DevOps solution for Salesforce with thousands of customers all around the world. It's been an exciting journey, and we're just getting going.
Up to this point, we've been based almost entirely in Cambridge, UK. Now, we're heading stateside and opening our US head office in Chicago 🇺🇸
Here at Gearset we're proud of the relationship we have with our users. We work tirelessly to provide both the best product and the best support possible, and for us, this all stems from one thing: conversations. With this in mind, there's now an additional way to talk with me directly. This is for a few reasons:
When asked to name so-called 'tech giants' - those in the industry whose influence has been profound and enduring - most people would think for a moment, see a whirlwind of male company founders and CEOs appearing in their minds, then produce a name like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. Answers mentioning female leaders like Virginia Rometty, the first woman to lead IBM as chairwoman and CEO, or Marissa Mayer, who was Google's first female engineer and now works as the President and CEO of Yahoo!, would likely be few and far between. This imbalance is symptomatic of the tech industry's status as an overwhelmingly male-dominated sector, something that hasn't gone unnoticed over the past decade or so. There certainly has been a trend towards encouraging women into STEM - in fact, encouraging everyone into STEM. But is this approach the right one, and is it enough?
Taking on a group of new interns might seem like the last thing a company would be thinking about during a global pandemic, but despite all of the difficulties that Covid-19 has brought with it, that's exactly what Gearset has done. Four software engineering interns and one marketing intern (me) all joined the team in July for a period of ten weeks. We decided to get together and share our experiences, explaining what life is like as an intern at Gearset.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. As a company, Gearset has tried to help where we can, and we've often wondered what more we could be doing. Making Gearset free to use with Work.com orgs until the end of this year is another way that we're happy to be able to help.
Salesforce developed Work.com to provide companies with the tools and information they need to bring their workforce back to the workplace safely, despite Covid-19. Gearset will help companies to implement Work.com faster, so they're back up and running in the office as quickly as possible.
It's just been announced that Gearset is one of the best places to work in the UK 🎉🤩🚀! We're super thrilled with the award from Great Places To Work (GPTW) recognizing Gearset as one of the UK's Best Workplaces. To enter the GPTW ranking for the first time ever and make it into the top ten for our category (small organizations) is a real honour. Huge congratulations and a big thank you to all of the Gearset team 🙏 for making our workplace culture one of the best!
Drafting and submitting our entry to the GPTW contest made us think a lot more about our values and motivations as a company. We've always had lots of fun working with a group of incredibly smart, kind and passionate people, dedicated to understanding the needs of our users at a deep level. So entering the GPTW awards was a kind of litmus test for us. How well are we really working as a team? Are we living up to our values? Do others at Gearset see it the same way? We thought we'd take this opportunity to share with you (and any prospective new joiners 👋), a little about what makes us tick, and some of what our teammates like about working here.
At Gearset, we pride ourselves on being close to our users, and we're lucky to find ourselves in a community of great people! You help us to spread the word about Gearset, and you give us awesome feedback on ways we can support the processes you want to implement. So, from the whole team: thank you!
Several weeks ago, 8 members of the Gearset team set off to a secluded cottage (albeit a very big one) located in the beautiful Berkshire countryside, for a week long hackathon.
You may have already heard about this through our previous blog post or from some of our tweets, but in case you haven’t - the Hillside Hackathon project was about a small team of us getting away from the usual hustle and bustle of current projects and user requests we work on in our everyday work lives. We wanted to step away from the usual distractions, take a fresh look at some of the problems our users are facing, and put some new ideas together for exciting ways to solve them.
So that’s what we did. 5 developers, 2 designers and a marketer (myself) hid ourselves away for a week with the aim to spike and prototype a new product feature. We weren’t entirely sure on just how much we’d be able to achieve in just 5 days, but we were all ready to give it our best shot nonetheless.
We’ve decided to not share exactly what it was that we were working on during the hackathon just yet, but we can say that the project was a complete success, with the team producing an awesome, very functional prototype in just 5 short days. Check out the highlights of the week in the video below, and keep reading for the full account.
As the name “Hillside Hackathon” may suggest, some of the Gearset team have embarked upon an epic journey of feature exploration in the beautiful British countryside. It might not sound quite as epic as trailblazing up a mountain, but the UK’s countryside is a little more quaint than that on the other side of the pond!
In short; we're doing a one-week hackathon in the quiet hills of Berkshire.
One of the best things about Salesforce is the community. I really believe it’s what makes Salesforce much more than just a business.
Before joining Gearset and the world of Salesforce I’d never been involved with such an engaging community, full of vibrant, intelligent people who are genuinely passionate about what they do, and keen to share their hard-earned knowledge. This community spirit rings out across the whole Salesforce ecosystem, evident through the thousands of meetups held all over the world, at conferences, in stack overflow threads, and in numerous blog posts across the web.
By attending Salesforce events and meetups, as well as talking to our customers and members of the community, Gearset knows first-hand how valuable it is hearing about other people’s experiences. It’s because of this that we’re inviting anyone who has a great idea, tip, trick or Salesforce hack to come and share their ideas and become a guest poster with Gearset.
TL;DR: In the first half of this year we’ll be focusing on:
A small number of substantial new features
Lots of incremental additions, usability enhancements and polish to existing features
Making your deployments successful with improvements to our dependency and problem analysis
Gearset exists because migrating changes between Salesforce orgs is difficult. There are often a lot of error-prone manual steps and tedious iteration when making a deployment from one org to another. As your environments grow in number and complexity, so does the margin for error, introducing more esoteric dependencies and failure cases. By the time you add source control into the mix, you're dealing with the idiosyncrasies of the metadata API, versioning issues and lots of raw XML.
Salesforce is an incredibly powerful and fast-growing platform. By pioneering the Software as a Service model, it has enabled thousands of businesses to improve their operational efficiency and grow their sales.
Effective as it is, adopting a company-wide platform is not without its challenges. Managing change and avoiding conflict in a system where end users, as well as development teams, are encouraged to edit the production environment requires a planned approach and effective information management. That's where Gearset can help.
I’ll admit that when we first put our roadmap together back in early October, I was nervous. We committed to several major new features, the biggest of which being our org change monitoring service, Insight. This alone could easily have been enough to keep us busy until the end of the year. Feeling confident in our abilities, we scheduled a slew of user experience improvements and a major upgrade to the comparison engine that powers Gearset into the mix. Combined with the stress testing of a rapidly increasing user-base, it felt like an ambitious target.
When we launched our roadmap in early October, we promised it would be a living document, updated as we deliver new features. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been striking a brisk pace with new feature development - so fast, in fact, that the blog is yet to fully catch up! The result of this is we’re on schedule to deliver all the promised features for this quarter, well ahead of the Christmas shutdown.
Over the past few months we’ve spoken with hundreds of Salesforce users around the world. From dedicated developers to awesome admins, we took the time to understand their deployment pains and find out what their perfect release management solution would look like. We covered the whole spectrum of Salesforce users: large corporations with complex release management, consultants working with multiple clients, and small non-profits working directly in a product environment.
The aim of all of this: to help us understand how our users approach deployments, what they find particularly difficult, and what they aspire to achieve. We collected a huge amount of incredibly valuable feedback, and to all who took the time to speak with us – thank you!
Here at Gearset we’re quite proud of what we’ve built. We’ve been blown away by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received over the past few days at Dreamforce. It’s been hard work for sure, with plenty of sweat and tears poured into making Gearset a reality, but seeing the value real users are gaining makes all the effort worthwhile.
In the Salesforce world of No Software, it’s no secret that we sometimes need to write code. Much less code than we need to on other platforms, but we still need to get our hands dirty from time to time.
I came to Salesforce from a Java and C# background, so when I transitioned to Salesforce I naturally approached it from the code angle 1. I read as much as I could find to get up to speed on best-practice, and the single best resource I found was Advanced Apex by Dan Appleman. If you’re coming from another programming language and want to understand how to get the most from Apex and the Force.com platform, then this is the book for you.