Remote uses GitLab as a single source of truth, iterating fast from ideation to delivery.
With just one year under its belt, Remote is improving global employment with GitLab SCM and CI/CD.
Solving global employment
Remote is a global organization that provides a platform to employ anyone anywhere in the world. The company started just one year ago completely from scratch with the goal to reform the way global employment works. Remote helps to place employees with full-time working roles, as opposed to contract or freelance positions like most remote opportunities. It creates a solution to employ people in different countries, acting as a global employer of records.
Avoiding multi-toolchains and unnecessary costs
A startup is a challenge in and of itself, but being a startup with the premise of global organizational employment is an even bigger ambition. The company is dependent upon productivity and they wanted a tool that would provide operational efficiency and enhanced product delivery. Remote is a lean team and when they expand, they’ll need a tool that will scale with them.
Because Remote depends on communication worldwide, the development team needed a tool for source code management and continuous integration. “There is one underlying need or requirement that I have for the projects that I manage and Remote isn’t an exception. It is that from the ideation step to the delivery, it needs to be as smooth as possible and as fast as possible,” said Marcelo Lebre, co-founder and CTO of Remote. “Any deviation to this sort of stream by any measurement, even if it’s very small, is very costly to the whole company and to the people themselves because it translates into waste and waste is inefficiency.”
Lebre and his team have all had previous experience working with multi-toolchains and understand the added amount of time, cost, and work needed. With multiple tools, smaller startups usually have to manually code, test, and deploy or wire it all together explicitly. A developer’s time would be spent configuring and managing the various tools. If one tool breaks, it negatively impacts the whole system, sidetracking the engineering team.
Building a startup with GitLab
Building speed with a startup usually requires a variety of software tools. According to Lebre, “Every small startup had to use a plethora of tools. They had to use things like Codeship, Trello, Basecamp, Asana, or Jira … We’ve used them all together to make sure that you could ship something, and iteratively, because otherwise what I saw in smaller startups was that they would have to do all the things by hand.”
Members of the Remote team had previously used GitLab and came to the conclusion to use the platform once again fairly quickly. “To be honest, when we started Remote it was already a no-brainer. I have been using GitLab for many years already. So I mean, there’s no competition there,” Lebre said. The threshold to get started with other tools was much higher because it meant picking out individual tools for individual services. Since the team was comfortable with GitLab, it helped get the start-up moving faster than had they chosen another platform.
Operational efficiency, on-time deliveries, and zero maintenance
From the very inception, Remote has used GitLab. The entire small company is using the platform, both developers and non-developers, with the intention to expand and maintain GitLab as the infrastructure. For now, Remote has one software in one location and focuses on quick iterations.
The issues used in GitLab are the single source of truth and because team members are all remote, this keeps everyone in the loop. Almost zero time is spent managing the tool with the ability to link directly between the issues to code and the pipeline allows a continuous visibility and workflow. “GitLab has made it easier to be a remote company because we document everything and make sure all our code and product is visible in GitLab,” Lebre said. “Through GitLab, we have full observability over our delivery speed and iteration process so that we can optimize where we need to.”
The development team has eliminated the need for a multi-toolchain by using GitLab for SCM and CI/CD. “We pride ourselves for not making people overwork. Engineering is a craft, I believe in that, and making people work overtime reduces the quality of that craft,” Lebre said. “If I use four tools to do the same as I do with GitLab, it means that the team is spending time managing those tools and jumping off and on from those tools. So either we work more hours, or we ship less. Those two options are not something that I looked forward to as a manager.”
Remote developers spend 100% of their time working directly on the product. Lebre and his team appreciate the transparent end-to-end platform, negating any possibility of being blindsided by an issue, which has allowed them to meet deadlines 100% of the time. In the last three months, the team has shipped over 540 merges to production and engineers have updated code 3,795 times. “I can say that GitLab and the full suite has been an enabler, and never a problem we had to fix,” Lebre said.
All information and persons involved in case study are accurate at the time of publication.