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Pluralsight Flow helps Storyblocks understand and improve their work processes.

The Challenge

While Storyblocks has grown and changed a great deal in only a few short years, its core value has always stayed the same: "We Heart Data." Whether a team is onboarding a new recruit or making high-level strategic decisions, they always revisit this value.

But, being data-driven in engineering can be nebulous. Before using Pluralsight Flow, the productivity metrics they collected were rudimentary — they only provided a glimpse into how engineering was performing. The need for additional performance data reached a turning point when Aaron Silverman, VP of Engineering, was advocating for a process change.

"We were advocating for handling bug fixes in a different way — by sending them back to the team that would be best suited to tackle them," says Aaron. "But the team pushed back. They brought up concerns like, 'the bugs won’t get fixed,' or 'engineers are going to be spending too much time doing this,' or 'our productivity will go down.' But luckily by that time we had already been talking about trying out Flow.

“Engineers are happiest when they’re building. Pluralsight helps us remove barriers, adjust processes, and assign tasks correctly so that everybody can contribute to the best of their ability. It’s a win for everybody."

Aaron Silverman, VPE at Storyblocks

The Solution

When Storyblocks jumped on a trial with Flow, they immediately looked to see if changing the process for assigning bugs impacted the team’s overall productivity.

"We saw a bump in productivity after we changed up our process," says Aaron. "That’s when we became Flow believers. That’s when you won us over. And having the data to prove that the process change improved our productivity immediately resolved the pushback. People just said, 'OK, it’s good,' and we moved forward."

The key benefits of Pluralsight Flow for Storyblocks

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Decrease in errors encountered by users

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Decrease in average PR age

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Increase in impact to codebase

“Management loves that we’re using Pluralsight Flow, because we’re backing decisions up with data. It helps us defend to the rest of the organization why it’s worth it to invest energy into different efforts."

Aaron Silverman, VPE at Storyblocks

Results and next steps

Storyblocks continues to use Flow to understand and improve their work processes. Specifically, the platform allows the engineering team to measure the effectiveness of their onboarding processes and ensure that engineers are matched with tasks that challenge them to grow.

"When a new engineer joins the team, we like to make sure that they’re being successfully onboarded. If they are, we typically see their commit activity increase at a pretty steady rate, trending toward the team’s average, over a period of a few months," explains Aaron. "So we’ll look at the commit workflow: how often are they committing in a day, and how often per week? Is this trending upward? And then we’ll look at the commits themselves: what are they? Are they easy or hard? Are they getting experience in different parts of the codebase?"

Storyblocks also uses Flow to teach team members best practices and to surface feedback. "It gives us a way to support what we value," says Aaron. "Take code review, for instance. It helps us shine a spotlight on best practices and on our values and say, 'this is important to us.'"

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