External tools create communication barriers
Since its founding in 2010 and first product launch in 2013, Leap Motion has continued to break new ground in human-computer interaction. Used in over 192 countries – with a 230,000-strong network of programmers developing on their platform – the company is fundamentally changing what it means to interact with technology.
The organization had tried a variety of collaboration solutions before landing on JIRA. But a wall was forming between their quality assurance and development teams.
ZenHub really has changed the way I manage people. It provides me with an efficient way to answer questions, and this allows me to ask questions I wouldn't have asked before.Jason Lokerson, Engineering Manager
Engineering manager Jason Lokerson says that before ZenHub, “QA was in its own domain. And engineering doesn't care about that, because engineering's world is GitHub. That's how we get our work done; that's how we write software.”
With fractured communication, inefficiencies multiplied. Bugs were missed, work was duplicated, and technical debt mounted.
Building a GitHub workflow for developers first
It took a only a short trial of ZenHub before Leap Motion declared a full-on JIRA bankruptcy, moving the entire organization onto ZenHub and ZenHub Enterprise. Executive, QA, and Development teams were able to unite in a single platform at last.
“When we switched completely to ZenHub, it was slightly magical,” says Arthur Weisen, program manager at Leap Motion. “Engineers were able to hunker down and focus, and that sped up production.”
ZenHub's unmatched integration with GitHub also solved a critical challenge of other tools: developer buy-in.
When we switched completely to ZenHub, it was slightly magical. Engineers were able to hunker down and focus, and that sped up production.
Since communication was centralized in GitHub, next to the code, engineers felt empowered to manage their own projects. They started moving faster. Managers watched conversation in GitHub multiply, with QA and development teams working together to proactively improve code quality.
“For engineers, actions speak louder than words. As a manger, a habit is something I'd rather have than a statement of praise. We actually see engineering talking to QA now. That's buy-in,” says Jason. “And that's how you know it's been successful.”
Since the engineers actually use the software, Leap Motion's executives felt they “finally had a system they could trust.”
Says Arthur, “You have more tangible metrics [with ZenHub] because it's tied directly to the code and what engineers are doing. That is critical for managers to really understand and quantify things in ways they couldn't before.”