Excited about the possibilities of this new opportunity, Ciaira embraced her greenfield role, rolled up her sleeves, and got to work. She began with two main goals: learn Confluence inside and out, and better understand how HubSpotters around the world use it. “I started digging into the instance and interviewing people across the company,” she explains. “I even went to our Dublin office to have their people weigh in because I knew everyone uses Confluence differently.”
After gathering research and uncovering pain points, Ciaira began formulating her plan of attack. First orders of business: minimize downtime and make content easier to find.
The stakes were high, so they worked together from the beginning to minimize issues. “I don’t like flying by the seat of my pants when upgrading Confluence because it’s the highest-visibility tool we use,” Matt says. “If Confluence goes down, executives know immediately because they read and write with it all the time.”
Matt’s first task was to learn more about Data Center and understand the requirements for migration. After doing some research, he realized HubSpot should migrate their database management system first. Matt explains, “As long as we were doing this major overhaul with Confluence, we decided we might as well finally migrate our database from MySQL to Postgres. It was not easy, but we made it happen.”
With Postgres implementation complete, Matt and Ciaira turned their attention to Data Center. They collaborated for months to complete a full proof of concept and extensive testing. The preparation paid off, and the migration to Data Center went off without a hitch. In fact, Ciaira notes it was a non-event from the average HubSpotter’s perspective. Since then, there has been no unexpected downtime, even when popular posts go viral internally. Plus, HubSpot’s engineers can easily add new nodes to their clusters in AWS.
“I can just spin up a new node using our automation tools, migrate everything to the new one, then drop off the old one. It’s lovely on my side,” Matt reports. Ciaira adds, “I’ve gotten way fewer reports of error messages related to server connections, and content now loads faster.” With benefits for Confluence managers and users, the migration has been a big win and will continue to pay off as HubSpot grows.
Confluence: The key to HubSpot’s transparent culture
Since the migration, Ciaira has been focusing on making content easier to find and customizing Confluence with apps from the Atlassian Marketplace. From implementing archiving and analytics to adding more polish and personalization, each change is driven by HubSpot’s commitment to transparency and information sharing. "A transparent work environment leads to greater trust and alignment and for a global organization, that's paramount to our success," said Chief People Officer Katie Burke. "Confluence has enabled us to create a platform for continued transparency allowing anyone in the company equal opportunity to participate, ask questions, and use their voice towards building a company our employees’ grandkids can be proud of."
The significant improvements Ciaira and her team have made to Confluence are only the beginning. Looking forward, Ciaira wants to improve how employees stay informed and connected by building and facilitating usage of Confluence templates, creating a training program, exploring additional customizations, and empowering people to contribute even more.
“The bulk of my past projects were about shoring up our foundations and solving pain points to set us up for success later on,” says Ciaira. “Now, I’m going to focus on using our increasingly stabilized environment to expand capabilities and create an even more refined user experience worthy of the enterprise. We're about to get to the really fun stuff!”