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Common Tools & Services equals Developer Collaboration which in turn empowers Productivity!

Tammy Stockton | Sr Product Manager in Bellevue

As a Sr. Product Manager of Developer Collaboration and Productivity for Expedia’s IT organization, I’ve been participating in a Common Tools & Services initiative. But, lets back up about a year. In 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with Technology Leaders across Expedia Group. In these discussions, I listened and they talked, mostly about developer pain points within their pipelines and processes.  I was noticing some real themes here:

  • Lack of transparency across development teams
  • No common development tools
  • Lack of a centralized pipeline
  • Development teams are siloed and want to collaborate
  • Developers want to focus on building great Expedia products

These common themes uncovered a common problem which led to a common solution… Developer Collaboration & Productivity via Common Tools & Services. As a developer, collaboration and productivity were the primary themes here. After doing some analysis, there was also some underlying redundancy. Decentralized development tools incur redundant costs. Costs like:

  • Infrastructure costs
  • Administrative costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • costs, costs, costs

Well, with a blessing and the support of Expedia Group leadership, this led me on a mission to provide the best in class development tools that facilitate collaboration and productivity via Common Tools & Services for thousands of Expedia developers. Let’s consolidate…One Team, Group First!

Welcome Artifactory, Same but Better

You have to start somewhere and Artifactory was the test for consolidation to improve developer collaboration and productivity. After all, Artifatory is the same but better! Right? Having many flavors of “Binary Repository Managers” at Expedia, I and a few Engineers rolled out and have been successfully paving the way to consolidating development teams, providing common tools, and reducing redundancy and overhead costs.

Hello Github Enterprise – Goodbye Bitbucket

They say, “Coders Gonna Code” and with Expedia Group developers operating out of a variety of source code instances, with different tree structures and limited access across these instances, they do code… but they lack collaboration, and in turn, this impedes productivity. By means of persistence and facilitating the collaboration of a group of influential Tech leaders across Expedia, we collaborated on a plan for consolidation onto a single Github Enterprise for Expedia Group. This was a task I was not super confident about at first. In fact, for quite some time the “Octocat” haunted me in my sleep. Well, I’m excited to say we are well on our way to closing the gap on siloed development practices.

A Continuous Delivery Pipeline

It was a “build your own” world with a variety of home-grown solutions that lacked speed, transparency, quality, and compliance controls. A group of us from Expedia’s eCommerce Platform group conducted some working sessions with key technology folks supporting their own flavor of a Delivery Pipeline, and after much debate and testing, we landed on a solution right under our noses. As Brand Expedia Group’s Cloud Acceleration team had been supporting a very mature pipeline “Kumo” (which means “Spider (nature’s preeminent Web builder) and Cloud”). It was a no-brainer that we should engage this team on adoption and testing application deployment.

The adoption of Kumo across Expedia Group is a win/win as Kumo does also facilitate common tools & services which leads to developer collaboration, and in the end, we have happy, productive developers.

Now, this is a theme I can get onboard with! I’ve got to go now as I have much more work to do to continuously improve Expedia Group’s Developer collaboration and productivity. Stay tuned for more on Common Tools & Services at Expedia Group.

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