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SplitPayments reduces build time from 15 to 2.5 minutes by moving to Semaphore

Before Semaphore:
  • 15 minute builds
  • Wasted time debugging CI performance
  • Costly subscription payments
After adopting Semaphore:
  • 2.5 minute builds ⬇️ 6x
  • Reliable performance
  • Cheaper pay-as-you-go pricing

Split Payments is an Australian company that offers the world’s first open banking real-time payments platform. The company provides a low cost, fast payment solution. The solution combines the safety and trust of bank transfers with the efficiency and convenience of card payments. This allows Split Payments to deliver a cost-effective and secure bank transfer capability.

Company Size
11-50 employees
Engineering team
12 people
Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails
AWS Logo
Trevor Wistaff
“It’s faster, more reliable and cheaper. A very rare combination.”

The Challenge

The Split Payments team’s old CI solution was slowing them down. “Coming from CircleCI, the performance could sometimes be quite poor and unstable,” explains CTO Trevor Wistaff. “Wasting time debugging CI performance issues and simply having a slow feedback loop was hindering team performance.”

Overall, Split Payments needed their new CI/CD solution to

  • Be stable and reliable
  • Decrease build times compared to CircleCI
  • Be cost-effective
  • Use maintenance-free, managed build-agents
Trevor Wistaff

“Faster builds resulting in better productivity”

Trevor Wistaff, CTO at SplitPayments

The Solution

The Split Payments team looked at alternatives like TravisCI and Codeship. However, they decided that Semaphore’s pay-as-you-go model was the best fit.

“The support made it easy to convert our somewhat complex CI config,” recalls Trevor. Semaphore provides a visual pipeline builder and pre-configured VM images. Semaphore maintains the VM images, so development tools in an array of languages are always up-to-date. Using these features, the team put together their workflow all the way from GitHub pull-request to deployment on AWS.

Testing is often the stage with the greatest potential for speed-up. Split Payments’ team easily took advantage of this for their RSpec tests and linting jobs. The artefact management features Semaphore provides made compiling aggregate code-coverage from the parallel tests simple. That done, the team could quickly move on to reaping the performance benefits.

Split Payments workflow in Semaphore

The Results

Trevor summarises the results: “15 minute builds down to 2.5 minute builds with parallelization – and still cost us less than CircleCI.”

The faster builds immediately paid off in increased productivity. Split Payments also found that Semaphore defies the ‘iron triangle’ rule. The rule dictates you can pick only two of speed, low cost and quality, but as Trevor concludes, “Good, fast, cheap. You don’t have to pick only two with Semaphore!”

“15 minute builds down to 2.5 minute builds with parallelization and still cost us less than CircleCI.”
Trevor Wistaff, CTO at Split Payments

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