Ramp has made waves as the fastest-growing SaaS startup of all time by revenue. As new customers lined up for Ramp and the company continued growing, engineers needed new ways to stay unblocked and ship quickly.
One strategy that Rodda John, an engineer on Ramp’s accounts payable / bill pay team, landed on was to write small pull requests (PRs)—no more than a hundred lines or so—and iteratively branch off them. (Some engineers might know this workflow as “stacking”.) He even created a few custom shell scripts to streamline the process, but rebasing in git was still, as he put it, “super painful.” Some weeks, Rodda would easily spend upwards of an hour “wrangling git to do what I wanted it to do,” and he found himself avoiding syncing with the main branch for fear that something would break.
“Graphite makes it much faster for me to develop because I’m spending less time wrangling git to do what I want it to do.”
For Rodda, the speed, resilience, and quality granted by the stacking workflow were worth the pain, but he couldn’t help thinking there was a better way. “Not all time is created equal,” Rodda explains. “The time when you are interacting with git is almost always when you have maximum focus on your work—that time is super valuable. Any time you spent manipulating your workflow is time not spent working on the actual product.”
Rodda found out about Graphite through a teammate and became one of the first engineers at Ramp to try out the tool, back when it was just a command line interface. Before long, he realized that all the time he had once spent painstakingly rebasing stacks of PRs that accumulated over the course of the week had been distilled into a series of quick, dependable commands. So long to what he called the “dark days” before Graphite.
Graphite at Ramp, by the numbers:
74% Decrease in median time between PRs merged
1-2 Average hours saved per week per engineer
Since using Graphite, the median time between PRs merged dropped from around 10 hours to just 3 hours—a decrease of 74%. The team was merging PRs 3 times faster while maintaining the same standard of output. Now their time was free to work on the things that mattered.
Reviewers also found it simpler to review PRs created with Graphite. With smaller PRs, the required context and complexity were greatly reduced, making it easier to give clear, actionable feedback.
“With Graphite it’s significantly easier to review PRs because I’m only looking at the portion of the PR that is relevant to me.”
Graphite has spread quickly and decisively through Ramp. All fifteen engineers on Rodda’s team use Graphite for every PR they push, and over 40 engineers at Ramp use Graphite every month. “The really smart part about Graphite is that it’s not black magic,” says Rodda. “It uses the same git building blocks engineers all understand. But with Graphite, I can just trust that it works every time.”
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Ramp is the finance automation platform uniquely designed to save businesses their most valuable resources—time and money. By integrating corporate cards with refreshingly modern software to manage all non-payroll spend, Ramp turns typically painful finance processes into an effortless and delightful experience.