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A focus on process

An illustration of a team working on a metaphorical software assembly line.

It’s hard for a busy team to have a consistent process. It’s harder yet to ensure that everyone on your team is up-to-date on this process and adhering to it from project to project. This applies as much to version control as any other part of your workflow.

Are the developers and designers on your team always sure of when to use a new branch? About when to merge rather than rebase? Does everyone remember to pull changes from master regularly when working on a new feature?

It’s these kinds of questions that can be hard to answer for a team, whether big or small, new or seasoned. And it’s why we decided to take a step back and imagine how things could be different. Our co-founder Chris Nagele shared why we wanted to build Conveyor. At the heart of it is this sentiment:

It’s a process you use, not one you manage.

Conveyor is first and foremost a workflow tool. It’s powered by Git, but it allows teams to not think about the workflow at all (or Git for that matter). It reduces some of the friction of your development process by freeing up your team from these kinds of questions. Your developers can focus instead on the quality of the code itself, not the process. The process takes care of itself.

Where teams feel the pain

As Chris alluded to in his introductory post, we did not come to this conclusion only from our own intuition. It’s what our customers experience. Last year, we spent some time interviewing active Beanstalk users to validate our thinking and gauge exactly where teams feel the most pain in completing projects and developing products.

Here are some of the statements from our customers that drive the point home:

  • we don’t have enough time to document or improve our workflow
  • our process is loosely defined and changes from project to project
  • our process is in a constant state of flux, always changing
  • we don’t have enough time to stay on top of new technologies, let alone implement them into our workflow
  • hiring is a constant need and while most developers have Git knowledge and experience, it takes time to get new team members up to speed on how we use it

Beneath these high level pain points, we hear how customers believe code reviews are important, but there is rarely time (or budget) to do them. The same goes for CI and other activities that would fall under QA. Last, there is little time for documenting the process. So many teams are left with the feeling that there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Work gets done, but most people feel like they could be doing things better.

With Git, there is no set workflow. You have a multitude of commands at your disposal and how you use them is completely up to you. If a team works together to come up with a workflow, it’s a set of conventions to follow. But ensuring they’re followed and communicated and understood is another matter.

No instructions required

All of these issues can be improved by Conveyor’s built-in, enforced workflow.

With Conveyor, you don’t have to decide when to make a new branch, when (or how) to merge branches, when to push your changes, and a variety of other common activities.

In order to ship a client’s website or build your next product, a series of steps must be taken. Conveyor allows your team to experience less stress because the exact steps required, and what order they should be completed, is consistent from project to project. It removes the uncertainty, as well as the mental fatigue experienced by project managers, team leads, and senior devs who are responsible for the quality of the end product.

With Conveyor, you’ll be able to keep your focus on what’s important. After all, your team gets paid for shipping projects, not for managing your process.

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