Salesforce consultancy Red Argyle relies on Gearset for thousands of Salesforce deployments
Founded in 2010, Red Argyle has delivered over 1,200 Salesforce projects, ranging from quick-start implementations through to custom development and integrations, with everything in between. The Red Argyle team have become particularly expert in what Founder and CTO Tom Patros describes as "complex custom weird stuff".
Once user stories have been gathered from their clients, Red Argyle's configurators make declarative changes in sandbox environments, while the developers handle code changes - and all of this work then needs to be pulled together for delivery to clients. Typically, this involves deploying changes from sandboxes to source control, then to a UAT environment, and finally to the client's production org.
Red Argyle escaped the tedium of change sets by switching to Gearset
Since 2015, Red Argyle has depended on Gearset for everything related to deployments. But it wasn't always this way. Originally, Red Argyle used the Force.com IDE and change sets. Tom cast his mind back to the everyday challenges Red Argyle faced before switching to Gearset:
"Where's that missing dependency?! I'm one component away from a successful deployment - why can't I find it?! There's no trail left behind by a change set, so I can't document it. And I can't run it again, which is always painful. Instead we have to build the same change set again, and that's super error-prone."
Looking for a DevOps tool to solve these deployment problems, Red Argyle chose Gearset. Being able to see the exact metadata differences between two environments and easily select which changes to deploy was hugely appealing. Director of Engineering Nathan Stevens remembers the difference Gearset made:
"Struggling with change sets and in-house DevOps projects meant continuously being sucked into the DevOps process at all hours. Coming to Red Argyle and using Gearset was like seeing the light! For the developer, there's a heightened sense of fear when they're working with change sets. But with Gearset, there's always a sense of calm during the deployment because there's so much more visibility."
Director of Configuration Alex Maroselli also came to Red Argyle from another company that used change sets. Her first impression of Gearset was "Where has this been all my life!? Change sets are so tedious, and it's very easy to forget key pieces."
Occasionally, the team are still reminded of the contrast between Gearset and change sets. "When we had to use change sets for a project recently," explained Alex, "it took 5x longer than it would normally take us, if not more, to work through our draft deployments and to mock up orgs. So we're very grateful for Gearset!" Configurator Aniela Wolkonowski was involved in the project: "I hate change sets with a passion!" she added.
Red Argyle builds its robust deployment processes around Gearset
As Red Argyle has grown, Tom and Nathan have found that Gearset accelerates new starters' understanding of deployments. "Gearset is a decent teaching tool," explains Tom. "It helps people to be more cognizant of what is actually in motion when they're deploying."
Red Argyle brought together its configuration and code development practices into one unified process using Gearset's integration with source control. The configurators each have a unique branch to which they deploy their declarative changes, and the developers then pull together changes for deployments to UAT.
Developers Dan Schmitt and Brian Taylor find that Gearset integrates neatly with source control. "We're able to easily select which source branch we want from GitHub," says Dan, "and then we match that up with whichever sandbox we're deploying to. The process is pretty streamlined." Brian agrees:
"We can just look at the files that we've changed, select them right in Gearset, move them up the next environment, and then do our testing there. It's really easy to do and definitely takes less time, so we can get to more projects."
Clients' orgs and requirements are always different, but Red Argyle's fundamental process stays consistent with Gearset. According to Tom, "Gearset has given us a tool and a behaviour to align to. Everybody knows that you're going to go to Gearset and you're going to get stuff into source control or you're going to get stuff out of source control." Alex echoes that sentiment:
"As a company, we're dependent on Gearset - it's ingrained in our processes."
Gearset supports Red Argyle's success
There's a whole raft of features in Gearset that the Red Argyle team find valuable. For Aniela it's the comparisons that are "just incredibly helpful". Tom finds that Gearset's problem analyzers, which find and fix problems with deployment packages, help to resolve the "black magic" of the Salesforce platform. Brian likes being able to validate packages before deployments, while the ability to roll back deployments and even dig out packages from the deployment history were Dan and Alex's choices.
"Gearset has definitely made us stronger," says Alex, and Nathan agrees: "Gearset is now a part of our backbone pipeline." Deployments are clearly much easier with Gearset. But has it helped the Red Argyle business? Tom believes so:
"The model that you provide us with is extremely approachable and cost effective. Gearset gives us much more confidence in estimating cost around deployments. It's absolutely helping in that regard."
Red Argyle recommends Gearset
Red Argyle have a wealth of experience and expertise in both Salesforce and Gearset. Having chosen Gearset for Red Argyle, Tom is happy to recommend Gearset to others. "I recommend Gearset wherever I can, even to some of our clients." Aniela says that anyone still using change sets should reconsider. "I definitely recommend Gearset. I would tell people that all of the time they waste doing change sets will be wiped away and make them very happy!" And Dan sums up Gearset's value:
"I recommend Gearset 110%. It will speed up your workflow. It will save you money overall. It's just a great tool to use."