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How AdWerx achieved no queue times with CircleCI

The digital advertising platform, AdWerx, sought a “stress-free” CI/CD solution to accelerate updates and new features

The challenge

In 2016, the engineering team for Adwerx, a digital advertising platform, was just a few people. Today, they’re about 25 people strong. “Our approach was very much one size fits all,” says Josh Bielick, Vice President of Infrastructure at Adwerx. “We were happy with any solution that did automated and fast builds.”

The engineering team initially used Rails and Codeship for development. But as engineers’ needs became more specific, they began to seek out a CI/CD solution with more consistent features and performance.

“As we added more services to the platform as well as people to our staff, we couldn’t get away with everyone using slightly different versions of solutions like MySQL,” Bielick says.

The solution

On the infrastructure team’s wish list for a solution to replace Codeship: solid documentation that would ensure all engineers were working with the same solution and features, and a CI/CD platform with staying power to match Adwerx’s growth in the future.

In addition, the team was highly focused on container features, once engineers transitioned from virtual machines to containers. “We tried out Codefresh because the company positioned itself as container-first,” Bielick says. “But we realized they were too focused on containers and not focused enough on other CI/CD capabilities.”

The infrastructure team was also considering CI/CD solutions that offered test parallelization tools. “Parallelism is a must for our build process,” Bielick says. “We prefer to have no queue time so we rely on a reasonably high concurrency limit.”

Cole Faloon
“Our engineers couldn’t imagine living without test splitting. They get test feedback in about 10 minutes. If the test suite ran in serial, it would take over an hour – and that would be unacceptable.”

Cole Faloon
Infrastructure Engineer at Adwerx

How CircleCI powers Adwerx’s business

“CircleCI was well-documented and checked all the boxes we needed,” Bielick says. “It has the ability to configure, in an easy way, the machines that would be running our test suites.”

Since the infrastructure team began using CircleCI for CI/CD, it’s come closer to its goal of going 90% green on deployments. The team also closely watches commits over six-week periods to track what they’ve accomplished and how quickly they’ve pushed out upgrades and new features to Adwerx customers.

Easy parallelism also allowed the infrastructure team to adopt test splitting. “Our engineers couldn’t imagine living without test splitting,” says Adwerx Infrastructure Engineer Cole Faloon. “They get test feedback in about 10 minutes. If the test suite ran in serial, it would take over an hour – and that would be unacceptable.”

Beyond the metrics, CircleCI and CI/CD reduce the work and worry of having to manage deployments.

“CircleCI is integral to what we do here,” says Nick Iovino, Infrastructure Engineer at AdWerx. “It makes everything stress-free. We know that if something goes wrong, it’s going to be pretty easy to revert or remediate. We know that if we have downtime, it’s going to be pretty short – and we can keep on delivering.”

Benefits since using CircleCI

  • Improves ability to revert code
  • Greater adoption of test splitting
  • Accelerating towards goal of 90% green deployments

About Adwerx

Adwerx provides Customer Relationship Advertising™ to over 500 enterprises and more than 400,000 sales producers. The platform provides personalized advertising at scale for distributed sales teams across real estate, mortgage, wealth management, financial services, independent software vendors, and more.


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