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How Console saves 1 day a week per engineer with Trunk

By Eli SchleiferSeptember 18, 2023
MergeCheck

Console’s mission is to help developers do their best work. By reviewing the best tools in a weekly newsletter, interviewing technical experts on their podcast, investing in early-stage developer-first startups, and helping developers find the best place to work, Console has grown quickly to be a trusted, independent resource for experienced developers.

On the Hunt for the Best Dev Tools

David Mytton, co-founder and CEO of Console is always on the lookout for the next best dev tool. After all, that’s how he and his team source content for Console’s weekly newsletter. However, at Console, he was also trying to solve a problem. As the platform grew, installing new linters for their repo and configuring everything manually became a massive hassle . David had been trying to figure out a better way to manage all the configuration. So when Nicolas Dessaigne, Algolia co-founder recommended Trunk.io to David, he took an immediate look. 

Trunk Check is “a layer on top of tools that makes it easier to configure a coherent set of rules and to discover new rules that you should apply. Just for Typescript, you need to have Racked, Prettier links, all those kinds of tools that help you... Now, rather than having to configure all the tools individually and figure out which ones we should install, what the best practices are, etc., we can just run ‘trunk init’ and Trunk configures everything for you.”

In no time, David came to see Trunk Check as “an essential piece of any developer toolkit.” He shares, “Using ‘trunk init’ should be among the first steps in any new project. Trunk handles the initial configuration, so you instantly get all of the code quality benefits from having consistent formatting AND catching potential bugs and security issues.”  

“There isn’t anything else that’s similar in terms of just having a single config and a single way of handling all the linting and formatting.”

- David Mytton - Co-Founder and CEO at Console.dev


Saving Time for Small and Big Teams

“Trunk saves our small team several hours on a monthly basis just by helping us avoid potential bugs. Time is saved when you run the pull from the Git repository and it automatically updates all the dependencies– not having to manually do that. It’s like insurance for your work.” David describes Trunk Check as a safety measure that keeps your house from burning down.

“It’s similar to having someone monitor your code 24 hours a day to make sure you’ve got all the security, best practices, and formatting so that you’re not making any mistakes. Running the ‘trunk init’ command takes 10 seconds and saves hundreds of hours across a large codebase because it safeguards our work, flagging issues locally as you go so you don’t have to make fixes retroactively in the future.” 

The best small teams tend to grow quickly– so, what are the benefits of Trunk as a team scales? David continued, “When I was on a larger team, I remember spending a lot of time discussing changes that could have been caught by a linter. Trunk Check allows you to canonize and establish rules for the entire team so all developers can code in sync, producing undifferentiated work. That saves us hours and hours a month of unnecessary headaches.” David stated confidently that Trunk Check has set the stage for Console’s planned team growth in 2023. 

Shifting Work Left

Trunk Check has also solved Console’s problem with updating local dependencies. “It’s very easy to pull in changes from GitHub but forget to actually run NPM install to update your local dependencies. We were tired of wasting hours trying to debug issues that could have been solved just by updating our dependencies. Trunk Check saved us from that. Potential problems are resolved before we even commit the code because Trunk Check catches them in your code editor. That’s a big win for any team.” 

David also loves Trunk Check’s VS code extension because “it’s running in the IDE as I’m coding chunks, running in the background and highlighting things, which saves hours of time each week just because it warns me as I’m making changes rather than at the end of a change request before I commit it. So, I don’t have to wait until the end and go back to make those changes. I can fix them as I go.” 

“Potential problems are resolved before we even commit the code because Trunk Check catches them in your code editor. That’s a big win for any team.

David Mytton - Co-Founder and CEO at Console.dev


Summary


How Console Builds:

-3 mono repos
-GitHub
-GitHub Actions
-Languages: HTML, CSS, Typescript, React, Go

Challenges:

-Managing the configuration of linting tools
-Issues with local outdated dependencies
-Inconsistent code

Solution:

-Trunk Check manages the installation and configuration of all required linting tools
-Trunk Check keeps dependencies in sync across the team
-Trunk Check empowers teams to identify issues locally, while coding

Results:

-4-8+ hours saved per engineer per week because of all the checks in place“Round the clock” monitoring of code produces secure, clean, consistent code

Trunk Check streamlines the development process for the Console team by ensuring consistent code quality, automating dependency management, and providing real-time feedback. This not only boosts the efficiency of individual developers but also enhances the overall cohesiveness and quality of the code produced by the team.

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