“It was a very small choice to add backup into our selection of Gearset, but it’s a small investment that means all of us are able to sleep at night — that’s what I love about Gearset’s platform!”

Ali Aydar | CEO | Sporcle
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Sporcle unblocked deployments and gained robust backup


Since 2007, Sporcle has been operating a highly successful trivia website — racking up billions of plays worldwide. When the team branched out to in-person events in 2013, they quickly adopted Salesforce to help scale their customer acquisition and support.

With the growing popularity and success of their live events, and increasing numbers of end-users, Sporcle’s team of three Salesforce professionals realized they were facing a scaling problem. Henry Jacobs, their Lead Salesforce Developer, explained: “With expansion, release management becomes a problem because you’re working on more things that all affect each other in this one big system. It was becoming harder to keep everything in sync.”

The Sporcle team were developing and deploying with a combination of Salesforce DX and DevOps Center. While version control did help with tracking releases and development work, their release management through DevOps Center was often working against them. Henry explained:

“Work items would get stuck in the pipeline, tests would often fail, and deployments were tricky. We had work that was finished, but we couldn’t get it to production — it was completely blocked!”

Disruption was the final straw

The team realized they needed to change their tooling when Sporcle’s heavily attended live shows were stalled by downtime in their production org. A bug was deployed as part of a release which disrupted the portal that 500 live-event hosts used for all the event information. The Salesforce team had no rollback feature, so they quickly worked to find a fix for the bug. But as Sporcle CEO, Ali Aydar, explained, “we could fix the bug, but we couldn’t push it because work items were stuck — we had 500 end users waiting for that fix so they could do their jobs, and our inability to deploy a fix was a completely unacceptable business outcome”.

“We have a team of Salesforce developers who had done good work and followed the right process for continuous deployment in DevOps Center, but then had that process disrupted by the tooling. The pain was too much, and it was that pain that pushed us to look for another solution.”

The search for a complete DevOps solution

At this point, the team at Sporcle were looking for a new deployment solution, alongside the ability to roll back changes that introduced bugs and restore a stable version of production. Sporcle’s team knew they were looking for a complete DevOps solution, and they found that during a free trial of Gearset. Henry explained that “set-up was easy, I made my first deployment right away and it was immediately impactful”. Already convinced by a great experience of Gearset’s metadata and data deployments , the Sporcle team felt confident seeing the positive user feedback from other Gearset users.

Thinking back to the disruption in production, the team realized that they could also have prevented this issue if they were able to restore a backup of production. Without backup, Ali noted that they were adding “another level of redundancy in the system”. Since Gearset provides backup as part of its DevOps platform, Ali also said that “it was a very small choice to add backup into our selection of Gearset, but it’s a small investment that means all of us are able to sleep at night — that’s what I love about Gearset’s platform”.

Sporcle now has faster delivery, increased security, and better experiences

The team at Sporcle have experienced clear day-to-day benefits from managing their releases with Gearset, and have faith that their Salesforce development will remain successful as they continue to scale.

Since using Gearset, Henry explained “we’ve saved a ton of time. With Gearset’s automation, back-promotion and environment syncing, I’m not fighting with my software anymore. Now I can spend my time on actual development work.” Ali also added that integrated backup is “an investment in the continuity of the business”, one that ensures new development work and production stay secure as Sporcle scales.

“It’s clear that Gearset was built for developers and by developers. Other solutions just aren’t as intuitive as Gearset.”

Because they can rely on Gearset, Sporcle’s Salesforce team have felt a huge improvement in their workdays. Henry highlighted that “with our old tooling, it was a daily battle. My workday has definitely improved with Gearset.” Now that he has an overview of the team’s process, Ali echoed this in saying, “I have peace of mind not only with our Salesforce deployment and backup process, but knowing that my developers aren’t going to be frustrated with working with arcane tools.”

“That’s why Gearset is the best thing ever, not only from a technical perspective, but also by creating a great work environment for the whole team.”

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