Code review is an important step in the software development process – it’s when people check a program by viewing and reading portions of the source code. But despite its importance, not all developers are happy with the way traditional code reviews work. For example, a Microsoft study found that code review results often don’t match motivations, either because of unrealistic expectations or insufficient developer resources.
With the goal of changing code reviews for the better, Jaime Jorge co-founded Codacy, which provides information on code quality, security, compliance, and performance. Fresh off the launch of a new product designed to measure technical performance metrics, Lisbon-based Codacy has closed a $15 million Series B funding round led by Bright Pixel Capital, the corporate VC of one of the largest employers in the world. Portugal, the Sonae Group.
To date, Codacy has raised $28 million.
“To stay competitive in a world where every business is run by software, companies need to find a balance between quality and speed of delivery,” Jorge told londonbusinessblog.com in an email interview. “The adoption of remote work has confused companies, creating tensions between engineers who deserve flexibility and freedom and managers who are responsible for results. Many companies have mistakenly seen monitoring as a solution, which in the long run deteriorates the culture and prevents them from hiring and retaining the best talent possible.”
Jorge did a master’s thesis focused on identifying duplicate code, which sparked his interest in code review. He teamed up with Codacy’s other co-founder, João Caxaria, to launch the startup in 2012.
Since Codacy’s inception a decade ago, the code reviews market has grown significantly, with companies like SonarSource and DeepCode — whose platforms scan codebases for bugs — raising hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital. Incumbents like Amazon have also thrown in their hats (see: CodeGuru).
But Jorge argues that the scale of Codacy’s platform is indicative of its success. In the past 12 months, the platform has identified more than 20 million vulnerabilities and, Jorge claims, has reduced the time developers spend on quality reviews by as much as 60%.
We have to take him at his word – statistics like that are hard to corroborate independently. But what is verifiably, Codacy sees a strong business opportunity beyond code reviews in terms of technical performance monitoring. That’s the focus of Pulse, the company’s second product, which aims to measure things such as software deployment frequency, turnaround time for code changes, and other aspects of software development related to “business impact.”
“Pulse collects metrics that enable teams to understand performance without compromising a healthy culture,” Jorge said. “We’ve seen first-hand with our customers how difficult it is to maintain a healthy performance culture instead of working remotely. Pulse wants to help with that.”
Certainly not every developer will be on board with the idea of keeping a close eye on their work. On the other hand, it may not matter whether managers see an advantage in quantifying, or at least trying to quantify, individual contributions to projects.
Jorge said Codacy “routinely” deletes customer data, including performance metrics, that are “no longer needed to allow normal operation of [the company’s] Product[s].”
“We’ve found over time that… leadership tends to drive metrics closer to bigger business results. In other words, leadership takes care of the forest, not the trees. This is why we designed Pulse: to provide a meaningful, cohesive set of metrics that leadership cares about,” Jorge said, claiming that Pulse is non-invasive by nature. “In this way, they follow what their colleagues in other departments are already doing by measuring performance without compromising their technical culture.”
Codacy seems to be doing something right, with a customer base of about 870 brands, including Panasonic and Delivery Hero, and a user base of over 300,000 developers. Jorge says funding will primarily be spent on product R&D, including adding new capabilities to Codacy’s existing services, bringing new services to market and hiring senior talent within the engineering, support and success teams. of the company, as well as for sales and marketing. (Codacy’s workforce today stands at 100 employees.)
“The broader slowdown in technology is proving beneficial to us as companies hope to automate processes while keeping quality solid and understanding their technical performance. Despite the frequency of layoffs in the industry, we have actually seen many of our customers expand into using our product suite,” Jorge continued. “We are really optimistic about the timeless, dependent nature of software development. It does not depend on cycles and the momentum is based on a global digital transformation. Now is the time to be greedy about the fact that every company wants to be software-driven.”