Pitfalls of a High-Speed CI
Summary of my bookmarked links from Sep 12th, 2023
- Death by a thousand microservices
- We built the fastest CI in the world. It failed. Here’s what we learned
In April 2020, Earthly set out to revolutionize CI/CD tooling, envisioning a world where builds were highly efficient and consistent. They embarked on a journey to create a unique build system that would eventually become Earthly CI. Their approach was to tackle one problem at a time, starting with build consistency (Earthly), then adding remote runners for speed (Earthly Satellites), and finally, the full-fledged Earthly CI. While Earthly and Earthly Satellites gained traction, Earthly CI faced challenges. New users were skeptical and hesitant to migrate from existing systems, often citing the cost of migration. Existing Earthly users embraced the technology, but Earthly CI's value proposition didn't align with their needs. The company learned that selling developer tools, especially those requiring integration work, couldn't be rushed or forced. Engineers preferred a hands-on, self-exploratory approach. Efforts to convert Earthly users into Earthly CI users also faced hurdles, as the latter didn't meet the specific requirements of many organizations, leading them to opt for Earthly Satellites instead. In summary, Earthly's journey to create Earthly CI showcased the importance of understanding user behavior, matching product offerings with user needs, and recognizing that developer tools often require a soft-selling approach.