Showcasing Codacy at PyCon 2019

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PyCon is an annual show in the U.S. that brings the Python community together for several days of talks, workshops, job fairs, and engagement opportunities. This year in Cleveland (Ohio), we at Codacy sponsored the show for the first time to connect and engage with one of the most active language communities in the world. Although Codacy has an established office in New York, this was my first trip to “The New World”. But, unlike the Mark Cohn song, the touch down was not in the land of the Delta Blues. It was instead in the hometown of Jerry Siegel (that’s just fine). If it’s good enough for Superman, it’s good enough for me!

It’s great working for a company with a remote work policy, allowing me to collaborate with colleagues scattered around the globe. However, it’s even better when I get the chance to get together with them face-to-face and trade Slack conversations for some real words. Being in Cleveland with the team allowed this to happen.

We arrived in the Huntington Convention Center with more than enough time to assemble the booth, practice some demos and have a cup of coffee to kill the jet lag. Then, just when we were ready to start relaxing a bit, Murphy’s Law kicked in in the form of a broken demo monitor. A quick Uber round-trip to the closest Walmart (my first experience, and one that certainly lived up to expectations), a 32” TV purchased, and everything was fixed a couple of seconds before the doors opened. By the end of the reception time two hours later, we had already interacted with more than a hundred developers. In your face, Murphy!

Over the next couple of days, we spoke with hundreds of devs and got some great feedback about our product. The ease of use was one of the most discussed points that surprised a lot of people. It’s pretty simple talking about it, especially on a well-practiced demo, but becomes more complex when a developer stops by, opens their laptop, and says “Ok, help me set this up”. It was stressful, I must confess, but fortunately a simple authentication with GitHub in the Codacy Cloud platform did the trick and he was on his way. In less than two minutes, an analysis was being performed in the developer source code.

We also engaged in some conversations about how Codacy integrates in a developer’s workflow, which makes sense because an automated code review tool shouldn’t add complexity to a someone’s day-to-day. Our product was built with that in mind, resulting in direct integrations with Git providers, delivering a seamless experience for developers. Keeping all this in mind when demoing at PyCon wasn’t easy, especially as people started asking great questions during and after the demos.  However, I’d say nearly everyone that saw our product was impressed with what it can do (which made my job that much easier!).

Sponsoring and showcasing at PyCon was amazing. Codacy’s booth had a very good number of visitors and a lot of people seemed pretty engaged on how to automate their code quality. People asked a lot of good questions and shared a their daily challenges with us, mainly about doing manual code reviews or even on using some automatic tools.  This is great not only from the perspective of getting new users of our product, but for taking feedback back to our development teams.

The feedback we gathered, from everyone from hobbyists and students to CTOs, was really valuable and I got to the end of every day thinking that it was really a privilege to provide a product for this market. And, at the end of the day, that’s why I love what I do and why I love Codacy.  I can’t wait for the next show that I’ll be attending!