Groupon & GitHub
Groupon is building the daily habit in local commerce — and building an engineering culture around the idea of open source. See how the company successfully scales its developer teams with GitHub.
  • Industry: Retail
  • Company size: 10,000+
  • Location: Headquartered in Chicago, IL

Groupon is building the daily habit in local commerce. A mobile and online marketplace where people discover and save on amazing things to do, see, eat, and buy, the company enables shoppers to find the best a city has to offer.

Groupon on GitHub, a natural move

With a diverse workforce thousands strong in over 25 countries, Groupon’s massive engineering team must find a way to collaborate and innovate remotely. Although Groupon switched from SVN to Git several years ago, it eventually became clear that another solution was needed as the company scaled.

As our engineering organization grew, and we hired more engineers that were accustomed to hosting their own code or contributing to open source projects on GitHub, it was only natural to move our internal repositories to GitHub as well, said Release Engineering Manager Seth Lochen. GitHub became part of our engineering culture organically and we embraced that cultural shift.

Scaling success with integrations

One issue that can plague fast-growing teams is how to scale the organization’s tools — but because Groupon was already using Git, the transition to GitHub was a smooth one. “We wanted a modern, scalable, central repository that had good tooling, APIs, and integration points, and one that was familiar to our staff. Github Enterprise was the easy answer,” according to Seth.

Groupon has taken full advantage of the robust integrations suite that GitHub Enterprise offers. We integrate with GitHub across our entire Software Development Lifecycle, use it to host nearly all of our source code, use the API and webhooks extensively, and we also integrate GitHub with our Continuous Integration pipelines so that every commit automatically triggers a build, Seth explained. The Groupon team also utilizes READMEs and GitHub pages for documentation.

GitHub is a key component of our internal engineering infrastructure.

In addition to the benefits of utilizing GitHub Apps, GitHub has positively changed the workflow of engineers at Groupon. Before GitHub we relied heavily on other code review tools and emailing of diffs, Seth said. We relied on our own homegrown tooling for githooks. GitHub allowed us to move to a fork and Pull Request model for daily work. This shift has helped us to share code and ideas without sacrificing ownership of source code.

In a time when competitive advantage can be gained or lost in seconds, especially for an online retailer, having an engineering force that is enabled to innovate and ship code quickly makes all the difference. By utilizing GitHub’s collaborative and transparent platform, Groupon is doing more productive work with less administrative headaches. And they know a good deal when they see one — they’re the experts, after all!


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