- South Bend, Indiana, USA
Increased client feedback throughout development cycle
Real-time client visibility into progress
Seamless collaboration between clients and teams
An increasing demand for cloud native applications has left some organizations struggling to compete in a changing landscape. Without the teams, tools, or expertise to build cloud applications, organizations find themselves adrift in a sea of serverless solutions. How can organizations modernize their technology when they are not equipped with the knowledge or time to build, design, and support solutions?
Trek10, a professional services company, combines comprehensive consulting with specialized technical skills to build and manage serverless applications, enabling enterprises to migrate to cloud native architectures. Trek10 customizes solutions to offer clients massive scalability, heavy automation, and low operating costs. Clients who collaborate with Trek10 have the option to select among various offerings, ranging from building and operationalizing applications and systems on AWS to a 24/7 managed service to oversee and respond to incidents.
By working with clients to determine a service offering that meets their specific needs and goals, Trek10 ensures that organizations have cutting-edge solutions to tackle business demands.
As organizations worked with Trek10 to develop customized cloud solutions, the need to create a transparent process became imperative as clients asked for updates. The team struggled with balancing the demands of building, designing, and meeting with clients to provide progress reports. Specializing in custom solutions, Trek10 encourages clients to offer feedback throughout the development lifecycle.
When clients collaborated on projects to make decisions, the Trek10 team made adjustments, causing changes in timelines and budgets. The team tried several list-based todo apps to track progress, however there was always discrepancies and lag time between reality and the tools, due to the overhead required from the developers. While the Trek10 team highly valued client collaboration to create custom solutions, the lack of visibility into how decisions altered original plans resulted in miscommunication and friction when closing out a project.
Information was spread across different tools, causing transparency and collaboration issues, and Trek10 needed to bridge the gap between developers and clients by having everything visible in one application.
Jared Short, Director of Innovation, and the Trek10 team tested several tools in hopes of solving the transparency and collaboration conundrum. While some applications offered visibility, clients did not feel comfortable navigating through difficult UIs, so the team continued to struggle. Trek10 searched for a single application that brought value to both developers and clients. Specifically, the team looked for a way to tie issues more closely with code, since developers and clients were not contributing to a single conversation.
Looking for an end-to-end solution, Trek10 selected GitLab to deliver full transparency throughout the development cycle. The team creates separate groups within projects and develops applications with full visibility to clients, paving the way for seamless collaboration after reviewing a repository or review app environments.
“We invite the clients and their developers, and project managers to collaborate with us, and we try to have as much visibility as possible,” explains Short. Exposing executive summaries, documentation, and spend reports offers clients real-time visibility into the development lifecycle. “With wikis, clients can easily find the information they want, helping them to quickly answer their own questions,” observes Short.
The decision to use GitLab has had a significant impact on both development and culture, with Short remarking, “Essentially, we look at GitLab as a building block, and we just build whatever we need on top of it. Whether it’s a wiki or a custom integration, GitLab helps create an engineering culture.”
“At Trek10, an Amazon Web Services Advanced Consulting Partner and MSP Partner, we run many of our business and technology operations on GitLab. This includes everything from collaboratively developing internal software, laying out and managing clients projects, to documentation via wikis and management of deployments via GitLab CI. All of our GitLab Infrastructure runs within our own Virtual Private Cloud in AWS (VPC). We use GitLab CI to build, test and deploy AWS infrastructure. Whether it be containers on Fargate and ECS, or serverless solutions with Lambda and API Gateway, GItLab and its integrated CI help us seamlessly and securely manage deployments across many AWS accounts on a daily basis for our clients as well as our own practice,” Short continued.
“Essentially, we look at GitLab as a building block, and we just build whatever we need on top of it. Whether it's a wiki or a custom integration, GitLab helps create an engineering culture.”Jared ShortDirector of Innovation
By moving to GitLab, Trek10 increased developer velocity, improved client relationships, and fostered trust and transparency. Review apps have created a direct link between developers and clients, increasing communication and allowing them to seamlessly collaborate in an improved development flow. “The concept of review apps is powerful, because developers can work within their own environment, while QA can test the features in isolation. Showing progress to executives with review apps has been a valuable component in increasing developer velocity,” says Short.
Clients have positively responded to the comprehensive wikis and issues, which Short says is a reassuring source of information for clients, since “…they know that they have a place to go and immediately see everything.” Furthermore, the ability to collaborate directly with developers allows clients to maintain an active role in the development lifecycle.
Trek10 uses GitLab as the core piece of an end-to-end solution for full transparency. As Short explains, “GitLab is a cohesive experience. We keep building off GitLab, because it works well when everybody lives in this little world that we created. If you adopt the philosophy and understand it, then it works.”
Using GitLab as a project management application helps Trek10 focus on innovating solutions for its clients. “Our business runs on GitLab. It’s a central point of our operations,” Short proclaims. After using GitLab, Short emphatically believes in the application, revealing, “Because GitLab hasn’t broken for us in the past two and a half years, we auto update every day.”
Committed to visibility and collaboration, Trek10 uses GitLab to speed up development, strengthen client relationships, and create innovative solutions.
“Because GitLab hasn't broken for us in the past two and a half years, we auto update every day.”Jared ShortDirector of Innovation