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Gearset Hackathon: what we got up to

  • Date 30 Mar 2022

Earlier this month, 9 members of Gearset embarked on a hackathon. We rented a house in the British countryside, away from the distractions of daily working life, and focused our energy on building one specific feature. At the end of 5 days, we hoped to have a working prototype that we could show our customers, and ship it shortly after.

Why have a hackathon?
A hackathon is an opportunity to remove the distractions of daily work, get into a new environment and focus on one particular project.

By setting aside 5 days to try something new, we could be more experimental in our approach to solving a key user issue. And by tackling a brand new problem with a team of people who don’t usually work together, we could approach the task with fresh and varied perspectives.

Normally, we all have multiple projects to work on and inevitably spend some time on other tasks and meetings. Focusing on one project in this way, outside of our usual roadmap work, allows us to get work out the door much faster.

What were we trying to achieve?
It can be tricky to decide what to build in a hackathon. We wanted to choose something that we could build in a limited amount of time, but that would also be useful. Equally, we didn’t want to plan out the week's work too strictly, because the value of the hackathon is getting different viewpoints and a mixture of ideas so we can solve a problem creatively.

So while we didn’t have a set plan, we did go into the hackathon with a clear idea of the problem we wanted to solve.

The Salesforce developers and admins using Gearset to manage their DevOps processes know how useful Gearset is in their daily work. But people who aren’t using Gearset every day also want to understand its value. Sometimes senior managers in larger enterprise teams find it difficult to know how Gearset impacts the performance and health of their DevOps operations, and whether they’re getting the most value out of the tool. We wanted to find a way of presenting more information to these individuals, so they can better evaluate their DevOps performance.

To solve this problem, we decided to build a reporting API that allows senior managers to extract key metrics about the speed and stability of the DevOps processes that they’re carrying out with Gearset. Managers will be able to import this data, combine it with all their other data sources and build their own reports and dashboards that work for them.

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