FinTech startup, Billie, uses Gearset for rapid, source-driven release management
Billie is a fast-growing startup that not only takes pride in offering innovative financing solutions to small businesses, but has also built up one of the strongest teams of Salesforce talents in Berlin.
It became obvious to Billie early on that it needed to find a modern deployment tool to manage its Salesforce releases and development process. After evaluating other tools, Billie decided that Gearset offered the best platform for keeping deployments simple, stable and fast, while also delivering other must-have requirements, such as version control integration, continuous integration (CI), and rollback.
Billie's Salesforce release process is managed via two-week agile sprints with a pipeline that consists of three orgs: DEV and UAT sandboxes, plus a production org. We caught up with Igor Chtivelband, Co-Founder and VP of Data at Billie, to chat about their Salesforce development process and how Gearset has helped shave hours off their deployment time.
"I no longer have any fear of deployments. I’m not afraid of breaking stuff. We usually deploy at the end of a sprint, but the amount of time it takes me has been reduced significantly from 5 hours to 1 hour.”
A powerful CI and deployment tool for Salesforce
Before choosing Gearset, Igor and his team were using the standard first-party tooling but soon ran into issues. Igor spent a lot of time configuring package XML which, along with the lack of full automation, ended up generating a considerable amount of manual work.
“We were using a typical setup of Ant and Jenkins. I constantly had to deal with package XML, which was pure pain. It was quite problematic because I could never be sure whether I had really included all the components that I wanted to deploy.”
Eventually, each deployment meant following a long list of preparatory steps and manual change tracking. This process was not only tiresome, but also error-prone and overcomplicated. "It was a lot of manual work and semi-automated ‘monkey business’. And it was always a kind of voodoo: there were these parts that we could deploy successfully , and then there were these parts that we just could not - it was really annoying.”
Like anyone looking at new solutions, Igor spent quite a bit of time examining and trying out the various alternatives on offer in the market. “After looking at different tools, I realized that Gearset was the way to go - it’s the proper deal.”
Billie’s experience with using Gearset
Now the team at Billie are deploying with Gearset, their entire source-driven development process has been streamlined. Gearset’s integration with Github has allowed them to deploy with ease, to and from their VCS, and adopt a mature source-driven release process. On top of this, Gearset has been really useful for comparing environments. The highlighting of any differences means that the team at Billie know exactly what they’re deploying, and what the impact will be.
“Gearset has an amazing functionality of comparing your environments: it shows your actual metadata and the differences in each line of code. It makes it easy to understand exactly what I’m going to deploy, and what changes will be made to my code. Whereas with the standard solutions, you can only guess what you’re actually going to be deploying.”
Gearset’s ability to roll back changes is another standout feature for Billie, as it also helps ensure the company doesn’t lose any money should something go wrong, as Igor explained, “I know that with just a couple of clicks I can roll back, and ten minutes later we are back in business. That’s why, if you take into account the business worth Gearset provides, it’s definitely worth it.”
How Gearset makes life easier for Billie
When you introduce a new tool into your workflow, you’re likely to have a question or two while you’re getting to know the tool’s different features. Igor had quite a few questions about Gearset at the start, “I’ve never had a situation where I felt neglected or that someone didn’t answer my questions.”
All in all, Gearset has made life much easier for Igor and the developer team at Billie. With more than 500 team deployments under its belt and continual CI and unit testing jobs set up, would Billie recommend Gearset?
“For me, Gearset is like the iPhone among smartphones. If you really want to save time, if you really want to save your nerves, and if you want to be more efficient, then go for it! Gearset is a good use of your money - just like that.”