Case Studies

Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc

Expanding into a new product in Linux with Incredibuild

The company

ETC  is a global leader in the manufacturing of “smart” programmable lighting and rigging for spectacular displays at live shows, events, and permanent fixtures. They employ about 1300 people with 100 developers in several teams working on the company’s embedded technologies. ETC develops professional products and makes them accessible to everyone. Their products are found in small and large venues worldwide, such as theatres, churches, restaurants, hotels, schools, television studios, casinos, theme parks, and opera houses. The company moved to digital technology in the 90s, and began using Incredibuild specifically to accelerate their Windows ecosystems and create lighting systems faster. Recently, ETC has expanded their use of Incredibuild into its brand new Linux department for a whole line of new products.

 

ETC  is a global leader in the manufacturing of “smart” programmable lighting and rigging for spectacular displays at live shows, events, and permanent fixtures. They employ about 1300 people with 100 developers in several teams working on the company’s embedded technologies. ETC develops professional products and makes them accessible to everyone. Their products are found in small and large venues worldwide, such as theatres, churches, restaurants, hotels, schools, television studios, casinos, theme parks, and opera houses. The company moved to digital technology in the 90s, and began using Incredibuild specifically to accelerate their Windows ecosystems and create lighting systems faster. Recently, ETC has expanded their use of Incredibuild into its brand new Linux department for a whole line of new products.

The problem: Building a new product line using Linux

ETC expanded their Hog series product line two years ago, which uses software built in Linux.  ETC’s software took roughly an hour to compile, and when done serially, would add up to nearly four hours of total compile time. Existing systems were creating problems at build time, requiring the R&D team to start from scratch every time, and configurations and settings had to be performed manually.

 

Our experience with other platforms like dist cc, if you ran into an error, you might as well build again because it might not happen again. It might just be some random dependencies not linking up, and what I found is that, with Incredibuild, we don’t have that problem.

How Incredibuild helped

The first thing Incredibuild helped with was making builds work in parallel, significantly reducing times by nearly 50%. With further optimization, the time to compile and package code from start to finish has been reduced to a single hour.

Additionally, using Incredibuild’s Build Monitor lets the ETC team better understand their builds, what’s happening, and gain visibility into every step of the way. Instead of having to wait four hours for builds to finish (or fail at undisclosed steps) the team can now track every task and find ways to optimize their dev cycles on the go. According to Patrick Hutchinson, DevOps Engineer at ETC, “A lot of our developers are hitting that build Button Visual Studio anyways, all throughout the day. And so they’re able to do incrementals or full rebuilds much more quickly than they would be able to otherwise”.

A lot of our developers are hitting that build Button Visual Studio anyways, all throughout the day. And so they’re able to do incrementals or full rebuilds much more quickly than they would be able to otherwise.

The bottom line

ETC was able to save nearly three hours of time on every build and get code out and ready faster. Instead of wasting time, devs were able to continuously improve, innovate, and optimize their code.