Condair Group is a Swiss-based company, focusing on industrial air humidification and evaporative cooling systems. Condair is known for setting the standard for high-quality indoor air solutions in 23 countries.
The company recognized the need for improvement in their software development tools to enhance the quality of their products. They had previously relied on outdated and redundant solutions to manage their software development workflows and processes.
It was not always easy to get the full picture of what was happening. People felt that they were working on different things, and tools were not always working as expected. Also, when there were requests to develop our software or add a new feature, it was not easy to know what the project would require. Moreover, the schedule of the development projects was quite unpredictable.
- Condair Software Team Lead, Markus Thomi
The challenge: Loss of control
Condair faced a difficult challenge because many of their software development systems had been outsourced, resulting in a disjointed mix of solutions from various providers. This situation left the company without full control over their software delivery lifecycle tools and projects.
To get control of our own software, we had to interact with different external partners all around the globe.
- Markus Thomi, Software Team Lead, Condair
Condair aimed to improve operational efficiency and increase control by implementing several initiatives using Azure DevOps, including setting up task boards and a Git repository, and building a server. However, one challenge they faced was the lack of familiarity with Azure DevOps among Condair's IT team.
“There was the choice either to watch and learn videos for hours, or to contact someone who knows how to set up these things and get a jumpstart. I looked for companies with expertise in Azure DevOps, and this is how I found Eficode,” Thomi recounts.
The solution: Smooth and productive
I knew what we wanted, but we didn't have the experience in Azure DevOps, how to technically implement all this. Eficode helped with the setup on the technical side, going through all the different options and connections between different tools, says Thomi.
Eficode provided Condair with technical assistance in configuring task boards, setting up Git, interacting with the task board, connecting it with the Git repository, and managing branching and merging strategies
Thomi found collaboration with Eficode to be smooth and productive:
“We had a friendly, good atmosphere. At any time, I could contact Eficode to ask questions, and I always got a useful answer. Most importantly, things were implemented in time.”
The benefit: Everybody on the same page
Thomi reported that Condair has a solid foundation for task workflows, with repositories containing functional dashboards and a beta build server that produces quality software.
“Azure DevOps helps us to get a good feeling about the status of our software. We can organize a clear software development plan, and know where to start, always knowing where we are. At any time, we can talk with other people and show them what's going on. Everybody is on the same page, everybody knows what's going on. That's really a big advantage.”
Thomi made note that in the past, Condair’s builds were not actually able to be reproduced.
Now that we have a reproducible platform, we know what we built at any time, we can rebuild it, if necessary.
For project leaders, Condair now has task boards in place, giving them full transparency on current projects.
That also gives the project leaders confidence that they are doing the right thing. The task board management helps a lot to keep things under control. Also, having only one centralized task board, it's much simpler to add more people.
From now on, it really is just about all the reproducibility and transparency, and quality.”
Faster onboarding and better developer experience
According to Thomi, the onboarding process for a new software engineer at Condair was expedited and efficient.
“We now have a document describing the main software development flow. So, I went through the details with him in one-two days and that was quite easy and fast.”
Condair still depends on external contractors, but with clear specifications and working packages provided by them, there is a thorough verification and code review process. This enables Condair to understand the work done by the contractors and any dependencies on other products more efficiently.
“Before, we didn't really have good control over the software. External companies basically defined how our product looked from the software side. Now it's the other way around. We define what we want, and we give them a working package. The definition side is now in our control,” Thomi concludes.