Blog Company Customer story: Driving better developer and customer experiences with a single application
September 26, 2018
3 min read

Customer story: Driving better developer and customer experiences with a single application

Director of Product Integration Michael Sobota of Charter Communications shares how they're using GitLab to simplify their toolchain, with big results.


During #GitLabLive, customer Michael Sobota, Director of Product Integration at Charter Communications, joined us to share how adopting GitLab as the single application for their entire software development lifecycle has brought their feedback loop of two weeks down to a matter of minutes. Charter is an American telecom company providing services to over 26 million customers in 41 states, and is the second-largest cable operator in the US. They have 94,000 employees worldwide.

You can watch the interview with Michael and check out our key takeaways from it below:

Key takeaways

A single place for all development, operations, and feedback is critical to a great developer experience

Michael: "It's my job to make sure developers who are providing a digital experience to our subscribers have a great developer experience: Helping them realize that vision of quick iterations, giving them feedback, shifting left concerns like security and testing, deployments, and getting that feedback early in our value stream where it’s cheaper to course correct."

"GitLab has been a cornerstone of our DevOps platform: using it for source control management, for continuous integration, continuous deployment, a Docker registry, artifacts. We want to give developers a single place to get feedback, self-service, and do it in a responsible manner that allows us to provide great value to our subscribers."

Quick feedback is also essential to staying competitive

Michael: "Consumers and subscribers are looking for different, more digital ways to interact with companies and to consume content. Shifting left allows us to be competitive in creating these new, digital ways for consumers to interact with us, whether it’s paying their bill or understanding how their account is set up, ordering a new service, consuming live streaming video, or video on demand. Customers want that quick feedback and do to that we need to shift things left."

Having everything in one place can drastically reduce your feedback loop

Michael: To be able to understand, "Did my code merge in? Did it build the capacity tests? Did it pass the security standards?" – these things, in a single place, within the merge request, within that UI, have helped us cut down our feedback loop that was typically around our sprint cycle of around two weeks, down to minutes."

"Gone are the days of managing different build machines. It’s all in the power of the developers, and now from the first line of code on every single branch, we can deploy a mutually exclusive environment and get feedback in minutes down from that two-week cycle. Now, almost every single branch of code can have a deployment, and you can have feedback as a developer, as a product owner, or as a designer, right away."

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