Code review is a key step during the software development process—it’s when people check a program by looking at and reading parts of the source code. But despite its importance, not all developers are happy with the way traditional code reviews work. For example, Microsoft study found that the results of code reviews often did not match the reasoning, whether due to unrealistic expectations or insufficient developer resources.
With the goal of changing code reviews for the better, Jaime Jorge co-founded Codacy, which provides insight into code quality, security, compliance, and performance. Fresh from launching a new product designed to measure engineering 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 most the major employers in Portugal, Sonae Group.
To date, Codacy has raised $28 million.
“To remain competitive in a world where every company is driven by software, companies must balance quality and speed of delivery,” Jorge told TechCrunch in an email interview. “The adoption of remote work in industry has led to disarray within companies, creating tension between engineers who profit from flexibility and freedom and managers who are held accountable for results. Many companies have mistakenly adopted monitoring as a solution that long-term damages culture and prevents them from hiring and retaining the best possible talent.”
Jorge did a master’s thesis focusing on identifying duplicate code, which sparked his interest in the code review business. He teamed up with Codacy’s other co-founder, João Caxaria, to launch the startup in 2012.
Since Codacy was founded ten years ago, the code review market has grown significantly with companies such as SonarSource and DeepCode — whose platforms scan codebases for bugs — raising hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital. Incumbents like Amazon have also thrown their hats into the ring (see: CodeGuru).
But Jorge argues that the scale of Codacy’s platform is indicative of its success. Over the past 12 months, the platform has spotted more than 20 million vulnerabilities and, Jorge claims, has reduced the time developers spend on quality reviews by up to 60%.
We’ll have to take his word for it – stats like these are hard to independently verify. But what is it is verifiable that Codacy sees a strong business opportunity beyond code reviews in the area of engineering performance monitoring. That’s the focus of Pulse, the company’s second product, which aims to measure things like software deployment frequency, code change time and other aspects of software development that correlate with “business impact.”
“Pulse collects metrics that allow teams to understand performance without compromising a healthy culture,” said Jorge. “We’ve seen firsthand our clients’ struggles to maintain a healthy productivity culture in the face of remote work. Pulse aims to help in this process.”
Certainly, not every developer will agree with the idea of closely monitoring their work. On the other hand, it may not matter whether managers see a benefit in quantifying, or at least attempting to quantify, individual contributions to projects.
Jorge said Codacy “routinely” deletes customer data, including performance metrics, that are “no longer necessary to maintain the normal functioning of [the company’s] product[s].”
“Over time, we’ve found that … management tends to care about metrics that are closer to larger business outcomes. In other words, management is looking after the forest, not the trees. That’s why we created Pulse: to provide a meaningful, cohesive set of metrics that management cares about,” said Jorge, assuring that Pulse is non-invasive in nature. “That way, they’re following what their colleagues in other departments are already doing by measuring performance without compromising their engineering culture.”
Codacy seems to be doing something right, with a customer base of around 870 brands, including Panasonic and Delivery Hero, and a user base exceeding 300,000 developers. Jorge says the funding will be focused mostly on product research and development, including adding new capabilities to Codacy’s existing services, bringing new services to market, and hiring senior talent across the engineering, support and success teams. as well as sales and marketing. (Codacy has 100 employees today.)
“The broader slowdown in technology is proving beneficial to us as companies hope to automate processes while maintaining robust quality and understanding of their engineering output. Despite the frequency of layoffs in the industry, we have seen many of our customers actually expand their use of our product suite,” continued Jorge. “We’re really optimistic about the eternal, dependent nature of software development. It does not depend on cycles and its momentum is built on the foundation of global digital transformation. Now is the time to be greedy about the fact that every company wants to be run by software.”