In 2003, four friends were brainstorming at a bar in Argentina. They shared a common dream: To help companies tap into the power of technology, from AI to VR to IoT. This idea of digital transformation was a new one—but they believed it had the potential to help all types of companies stay ahead of the competition. Fast forward to 2006, and Globant became the first company outside the Googleplex to partner with Google.
Today, Globant is 9,000 employees strong, with 48 offices in 35 cities around the world. In addition to Google, it counts LinkedIn, EA, and Coca-Cola among its clients, and has been recognized as one of the top 10 innovative companies in South America by FastCompany. Globant is nimble at finding innovative technology solutions for clients—both internally, and to better serve their external customers. From engineering the digital transformation for one of the world’s largest amusement parks to giving the London public instant access to the Metropolitan police, Globant’s portfolio is creative and diverse.
Pablo Villarreal is Globant’s Chief Security Officer and Head of Systems Engineering—and has been around since the beginning. Unix and Database Services Tech Lead Ezequiel Pellettieri is also a Globant veteran, and together, their team provides all corporate services. Back when Villarreal and Pellettieri were new to the company, the team used Subversion for version control with relative success. After seven years, they brought WANdisco on board to incorporate Git. Pellettieri explained that as the company scaled, self-provisioning became more important, so they merged everything to GitHub in 2017. This provided “a friendly, well-known interface for all our users.”
The team also considered GitLab, but with offices in 17 countries, “we were looking for a solution that was easy to distribute geographically,” said Pellettieri. “GitLab wasn’t right for those needs.” Because GitHub provides multimaster geo-distributed replicas, the platform allows Globant’s globally distributed workforce to feel like one team.
The decision to go with GitHub was also in part due to developer preference. “Developers are very well-versed in the use of GitHub,” said Villarreal. “They prefer it, and don’t even want to consider other tools.” Before they’re even in the job market, GitHub sets new developers up for success, exposing their work to the community—and recruiters. “They graduate from school knowing how to use GitHub,” said Villareal. This works both ways. When hiring new developers, Pellettieri said, “the fact that we use GitHub is a plus.”
Today, Globant has 2,000 daily active GitHub users working in two different on-premises instances—one public and one private for clients who prefer Globant house their repositories and code in its own data centers. “We are planning to have over 3,000 users by the end of the year,” said Pellettieri. To alleviate administrative tasks, Globant is in the middle of migrating one instance to GitHub.com. “By moving that on-premises instance to GitHub.com, it will be just as secure but require significantly less work from our teams. We’ll spend less time on maintenance, doing backups, carrying off upgrades, and can count on GitHub’s high reliability.”
For Globant employees to operate most effectively, Jenkins is integrated with GitHub. “This reduces the effort it takes to deploy manually, and saves us a lot of overtime hours and night shifts. We’re very happy with that,” said Pellettieri. The team is also considering switching to GitHub Actions (currently in beta), which would allow them to create customized workflows.
It’s not just developers who are using GitHub. “Everyone has access with their credentials,” said Pellettieri. Operations staff, technical writers, managers, security, researchers, testing, QA, and any other role at Globant can use GitHub. By using GitHub across the business, Globant can stay transparent, and encourage collaboration and productivity at scale.
Developers are very well-versed in the use of GitHub. They prefer it, and don’t even want to consider other tools.
Now that developers have self-provisioning with GitHub, “They’re solving problems themselves and can collaborate with other teams without asking for specific permissions,” said Pellettieri. “Before, they’d get stuck in paperwork and permissions. It’s better now.”
With a more open permissions structure, Globant developers can discover existing code and keep things running efficiently (and collaboratively) with innersourcing. “In many cases, we write our own frameworks and our own libraries for certain topics, like authentication. We try to reuse code as much as we can,” said Villareal. This way, Globant can encourage its signature innovation within the internal developer community. With good documentation and the ability to explore vulnerabilities, they can track down and fix bugs and develop faster. “The speed, quality, and other essentials are all there. We know our people have seen and tested the code with the proper quality assurance tests, so we save a lot of time.”
With teams all over the world, it’s critical that Globant maintains a high-availability environment. “There are people in India and San Francisco and Miami, Argentina and South America, using GitHub all day,” explained Pellettieri. Currently, Globant’s on-premise instances are hosted its San Francisco data centers, but they can easily be replicated in Miami to minimize service disruption. “We really appreciate how GitHub is configured for high availability. From an infrastructure perspective, it’s imperative,” said Pellettieri.
With a variety of time zones, the global team needs 24/7 support. But “that doesn’t mean we need a full-time employee for administering GitHub.” Instead, they have one employee in every time zone in case something does happen—with GitHub or any of Globant’s other corporate services. When they do think of questions and need GitHub’s help, “We get an instant reply,” said Pellettieri. Especially if they’re in the middle of something, “GitHub gives us the support we need to find solutions.”
Globant CEO Martin Migoya—one of those original Argentina bar brainstormers—described Globant as “a reinvention of the professional IT service provider.” Internally, they practice what they preach with GitHub, evolving their own processes so they can continue to keep their edge and help companies leverage the power of technology.
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