Gilt fashions unique agile development culture with Atlassian




New York City


JIRA Software


With over six million members, is one of the hottest e-commerce sites on the planet, providing insider access to today’s top designer labels at up to 60% off retail. The company specializes in flash sales, offering products for a limited time until inventory disappears.

"At Gilt, every day is Black Friday," says Lead Engineer Yoni Goldberg. Seconds after Gilt announces its daily sale, site traffic and e-commerce transactions hurtle upward and every employee and every team – from the Tech group to distribution centers – must be ready for the spike. It takes an agile, collaborative effort involving hundreds of Gilt employees from Dublin to Manhattan to ensure a smooth and reliable customer experience.

“We were using a bunch of different consumer-grade chat clients, primarily Skype,” says Goldberg. “It was becoming a real pain.” Security was another issue for Gilt; when individuals left the company, they still had access to Skype rooms.

Gilt relies on JIRA as its de facto tool for agile project management across the entire organization. Heather Fleming, senior director of PMO, explains, "Regardless of what team you're on, what type of work you're doing, or which office you're in, JIRA keeps everyone on the same page. From PMO and engineering to creative and business teams, it's the one tool everyone knows and trusts to be accurate and up to date at all times." Founded by software developers, the entire company embraces the agile development methodology. "For us, agile’s not just a checklist of best practices, it’s a mindset," says Fleming.

Adding to its suite of Atlassian software, the company evaluated HipChat. Goldberg, who participated in the pilot and ultimately made the decision to switch, explains: "HipChat’s secure. It’s easy to use, and all of Gilt’s contacts are available to new employees on day one.” In addition, HipChat has native apps for all major operating systems, which means employees can access HipChat however and whenever they want.

Individuals in the PMO organization appreciate HipChat for its integration with JIRA. When an issue is created or updated in JIRA, the program managers receive a HipChat notification. Directly from HipChat, users can click on and seamlessly view and update a ticket, attach files, add comments, and immediately respond to questions.

For Gilt’s strong remote working culture, the advantages of HipChat are obvious. Says Risverato, “JIRA and HipChat make remote work a breeze because everyone is working with the same single source of truth and can communicate and collaborate in real time from anywhere.” HipChat also keeps everyone on the same page. “No matter where we happen to be, everyone knows that they can use HipChat to find out what's going on, what's important, and what needs to happen,” says Riservato.

Culturally, HipChat has allowed Gilt employees to connect with each other, not only about work but also around topics such as coffee, food, and music. "We've been able to use HipChat, not just for our work, but to foster the spirit of a great tech culture," says Riservato.

The end result: higher quality software delivered faster than ever before through a unique agile culture designed and implemented by Gilt – and powered by JIRA and HipChat.

JIRA has been great for us because it's been so flexible and it adapts to all our different workflows and processes across the company.— Justin Riservato, director of PMO, Gilt

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