How HealthLabs.com prioritizes developer productivity and well-being

Docker + SaaS + automation = team happiness and customer focus

A self-described, “fanatic for automation and code quality,” Donald Tyler, DevOps Technical Lead at HealthLabs.com prioritizes efficiency and productivity for his team. “Whenever anything might affect my team’s productivity, I like to eliminate that by whatever means necessary. Automation is a huge way to help my team be more productive and avoid busy work.”

The Challenge

“When I first arrived at HealthLabs.com, there wasn’t a strong DevOps culture. There was no code review process or quality control. In some ways, it was continuous delivery without continuous integration: everything that got pushed to master immediately went to production. I knew we needed to make some real changes to our process and our tools.”

The Solution

“I found out about CircleCI at a Docker meetup,” says Donald. “The main reason we chose CircleCI is the Docker support. We need our dev, test, and production environments to be identical, and using Docker with CircleCI solves that problem. It was a big deal that CircleCI has first-class support for Docker and that people in the Docker community recommended CircleCI to us.”

“Using CircleCI as a SaaS tool is really important. It is the best fit for our culture. Everything we use here is a cloud solution. We needed a platform like CircleCI that we didn’t have to maintain or update ourselves. That was a big plus for us. A tool like Jenkins would never have worked here. Jenkins takes too much maintenance from your team. That maintenance is a real opportunity cost, and it impacts the rest of the business because now that developer is not producing value through our products and for our customers.”

Why CircleCI

Donald wants his team to focus on what they do best, and not to distract them from focusing on HealthLabs.com’s users. “The resources brought to bear by a company entirely focused on their core competencies are always going to be higher than a company distracted by “plumbing” such as deploying, maintaining servers and pipeline tools.”

“It has also been nice to see the continual improvement that CircleCI has undergone since I became a customer. We have seen really big performance improvements over time, which has been really valuable. We care a lot about our build time.”

Donald has also seen impacts of using CircleCI on the overall happiness of the developers on his team. “The things that influence the attitude and wellbeing of your team are the things they do every day. Are they going into work and being frustrated by their tools? Can they not complete their tasks because their tools are not performing? Do they feel like they can’t stay on task because they are twiddling their thumbs waiting for something and they keep falling off the focus train?”

“Good developers are very focused on being productive. If they feel like they can’t be productive and their tools are failing them, it is very frustrating. You have to give people the right tools they need to do their job because this directly feeds into their wellbeing and happiness.”


Donald Tyler Portrait
“Using CircleCI as a SaaS tool is really important. It is the best fit for our culture.”

Donald Tyler
DevOps Technical Lead at HealthLab


About HealthLabs.com

HealthLab.com’s three properties: STDcheck.com, HealthLabs.com, and UTItreatment.com, each provide quick and easy medical testing at an affordable price.

Deploy to

Google Cloud

Languages

PHP
Go
Java
JavaScript

Team Size

30

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