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Semaphore’s game-changing support team speeds TextMaster to halved build times

Before Semaphore:
  • 15 minute builds
  • Limited customisation
  • Per-box pricing model
  • Blocked developers, switching contexts
After adopting Semaphore:
  • 8 minute builds ⬇️2x
  • Highly customisable pipelines
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing
  • Less waiting, happier developers!

TextMaster is a professional multilingual translation and writing solution. The tool combines a network of certified translators and writers with proprietary tech to offer a global solution in over 50 languages and areas of expertise. More than 10,000 clients use the online service to streamline the translation of their content.

Corporate Communications
Company Size
11-50 employees
Engineering team
12 people
Ruby on Rails
“Semaphore 2.0 enabled us to drastically reduce the feedback loop which allows our team to be more productive.”
Pierre-Louis Gottfrois, CTO for TextMaster

The Challenge

TextMaster wanted to improve productivity by shortening the build cycle time. “Having tests that take 15 minutes to run made the team switch to other tasks while waiting for their branch feedback,” explains Pierre-Louis Gottfrois, consultant CTO for TextMaster. “Our developers were constantly switching contexts in their mind which is bad for productivity and mental health.”

Overall, TextMaster needed their new CI/CD solution to

  • Decrease build times
  • Require zero maintenance
  • Be scalable and cost-effective
  • Support complex CI/CD workflows
  • Be well supported during the migration and beyond
“Super easy to use, blazing fast and for a really fair price.”
Pierre-Louis Gottfrois, CTO for TextMaster

The Solution

The TextMaster team were already using Semaphore Classic. Github forms the back-bone of the TextMaster workflow. Therefore, developers work on issues and request changes through pull requests. TextMaster considered a switch to Github Actions, but, says Pierre-Louis, they “didn’t see enough value to perform a full switch.”

The company’s Continuous Deployment pipeline starts with unit and integration tests. The tests are run by Semaphore against each pull request. Once built, branches can be promoted to one of several test servers from Semaphore’s UI. When all results are green, the pull request is merged back into the master branch. Finally, as Pierre-Louis details, “We trigger the production promotion from Semaphore to deploy our code into production.”

TextMaster workflow in Semaphore

The amount of parallel resource used is easy to adjust. This gives the team the freedom to quickly scale TextMaster’s CI/CD. All it takes to scale is tweaking some numbers in a configuration file. “Semaphore makes this process a no-brainer,” Pierre-Louis adds. The team also uses Semaphore’s analytic tool to monitor monthly usage and costs.

TextMaster had a lot of projects to migrate. The first one took some effort to port, but, recalls the CTO, “the Semaphore support team made this really easy, thanks for their support!”

Now that the projects are up and running, making new workflows or changing existing ones is easy for all developers. In addition, Semaphore helps the team by taking away the hassle of running a full-blown, highly reliable and scalable CI/CD infrastructure. This is important to the small team, which is composed of 5 senior engineers and a product owner. They don’t have time to waste on setting up and looking after systems that don’t provide a competitive advantage.

The Results

Pierre-Louis sums up the results: “We’ve reduced the time it takes to run all our tests from 15 minutes down to 8 minutes on average while being less expensive to run, pretty impressive!

“Semaphore 2.0 enabled us to drastically reduce the feedback loop which allows our team to be more productive.”

The team credits the halving of build time to the Semaphore’s scalable compute resource and its concurrency model. What’s more, the faster speed comes at a lower total cost than TextMaster were paying for Semaphore Classic.

Having achieved their goal of better productivity, Pierre-Louis finds it easy to recommend Semaphore. For anyone thinking of a switch, his final thought on what sets Semaphore apart is the support they got while porting their projects: “Semaphore’s support team is just great. Having a team who cares about the success of your team is a game-changer. They are always ready to help and provide strong technical support when we need it.”

“Having a team who cares about the success of your team is a game-changer. They are always ready to help and provide strong technical support”
Pierre-Louis Gottfrois, CTO for TextMaster

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