Enterprise messaging giant Slack has modernized its build platform, forgoing the individual Jenkins clusters for a more standardized model to improve

A Look at Slack’s New GitOps-Based Build Platform

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2022-09-23 14:00:32

Enterprise messaging giant Slack has modernized its build platform, forgoing the individual Jenkins clusters for a more standardized model to improve developer efficiency and user experience.

It was a necessary move: Slack is growing at a rapid pace, with its revenue basically doubling every year since 2014. With a company growing at that pace, what once worked may not be the best solution now. In this case, it was Slack’s build platform.

Slack has used Jenkins as its build platform since the early days. The idea of allowing each team to create their own customized Jenkins cluster, known as “Snowflake Clusters,” was a solid idea in 2014. But with the hyper-growth came an increase in the product service dependency on Jenkins and different teams started using Jenkins for their own unique needs, such as plugins, credentials, security practices, backup strategies, managing jobs, upgrading packages, etc.

In plain terms, there were enough “Snowflake Clusters” to cause an avalanche of complications considering that each unique cluster has its own ecosystem rich with plugins to upgrade, vulnerabilities to deal with, and processes around managing them.

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