Confluence helps Docker scale and collaborate across teams


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In just a few years, Docker has won the hearts and minds of coders and blue chip companies alike. The startup’s open source, cloud, and on-premise container technology for application development makes it easy for programmers to write code once and for sysadmins to run it in production anywhere.

“Managing cross-team communication while growing at the rate we have is challenging – we’ve quickly gone from 20 to 250 employees. Atlassian tools have helped us scale,“ says Justen Stepka, director of product management at Docker.

Docker was using a mix of email, word processing, and spreadsheets for content collaboration and documentation. As Docker began ramping up in 2014, they realized they needed a more centralized system for maintaining communications and preserving tribal knowledge.  They also needed a an easily accessible and streamlined process for managing engineering plans and resources.

Docker adopted Confluence:  “Confluence helps us capture and share information, efficiently and quickly, across the company,” adds Scott Johnston, COO at Docker. “A world in which customer feedback, product requirements, event plans, meeting notes, and more is readily available to any employee flattens the organization and lowers functional silos, helping us move much faster.“

Recognizing the value of Confluence, soon Sales was using Confluence as a repository for collateral and customer notes, and Marketing and Design for storing campaign plans, templates, and creative assets. Confluence helps the groups communicate roadmaps and flesh out details – writing requirements, collaborating around design, and conducting discussions.

Meanwhile, Product teams have adopted both Jira and Confluence. “We brought in Jira because as we expanded our product set we needed a sophisticated way to track and manage iterations; other tools just didn’t provide that,” says Stepka “Now you can’t do your job without using Jira and Confluence. The tools work seamlessly together. It’s how we communicate between teams and get new developers up and running quickly.”

Docker also shares much of its internal communication in Confluence. In keeping with the company value of transparency, executives share company and product OKRs, and all-hands recordings there. “Before Confluence there was no central repository for knowledge. There was no easy way for employees to find out what was going on inside the company,” explains Stepka. “Confluence is critical to our internal communication.”

“As we continue to grow our organization, how are we going to bring all the new employees up to speed? Writing it down, organizing it, and sharing it in Confluence is how we’re going to help them,“ concludes Johnston.

Confluence helps us capture and share information, efficiently and quickly, across the company.— Scott Johnston, COO at Docker