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Interview with Daniel Pfeiffer, CTO at Firstbird

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We had a very nice talk with Daniel Pfeiffer, CTO at Firstbird; it was an informal conversation in which we looked to understand the reasons why he and his team opt for an automated code review tool like Codacy, what were their main needs, the benefits they found, and what it helped them solve. Firstbird uses Scala as its primary programming language, and also Shell Script, PL/SQL, and Markdown.

About Firstbird
Firstbird is the digital employee referral program, that connects people with their vocations and companies worldwide with suitable candidates. With Firstbird, employees become brand ambassadors, and referrals become a company’s most successful recruiting channel.

What were your company’s main needs that led to implementing Codacy for your company?

Our main target is to gather the code quality information in a single place and make it accessible to our engineers, independent of which Linter/Build Tool/Coverage Tool generates the information. 

While using Codacy, were you surprised with any particular benefit that you did not expect?

  1. At Firstbird we are working with a pull request-driven review process where the Codacy Bitbucket Pull Request integration supports us to have a fast and highly efficient review process without the need to continuously switch tooling. 
  2. Actually, the number of languages that Codacy reviews was really a surprise because the tooling that we had before always targeted the main repository language, in our case Scala, and never languages that coexisted in a single repository. In this case, SQL database migration script or Bash start scripts. 

What were the main issues you tried to tackle withed Codacy and why? Can you tell us how much you improved your main issue? 

When we started using Codacy, we just had our go-to-market and as it always is, we knew that if we didn’t take a proactive approach, the code quality would naturally get worse over time. So our goal was to keep the same level of code quality that we had before, in issues and code coverage, while growing our platform significantly.

Why did you choose Codacy instead of another tool? 

Because it is really simple to set up and integrates nicely in our tooling landscape without requiring any internal maintenance/hosting efforts.

Can you provide me with the Codacy solution you decided to implement and why? Is it cloud or on-prem? How many seats? What Git provider do you use and why?

We are running the cloud solution with 13 seats. From a developer tooling perspective, we are using quite some products of the Atlassian Suite, this is why we are also using Bitbucket Server as our Git provider as it integrated better than in the past, into a mix of on-prem and cloud-hosted Atlassian tooling.

Can you compare how your workflow is today with how you were working in the past?

In my experience, engineers during the review process focus more on implementation correctness (business-wise) issues and don’t spend their time pointing out “stylistic” issues. From a direct tooling perspective, it is really nice to have the issues that Codacy finds added as comments in the Bitbucket pull requests so that we don’t need to look in various places when reviewing a code change.

firstbird case study

Besides building the future of recruiting at Firstbird, Daniel “loves Scala, Akka, Functional Programming.”

Daniel enjoys working with his team at Firstbird, delivering not just a product, but a whole experience for Firstbird customers. He is a product-loving developer, who puts his head down and always tries to make it better.

Daniel also shares his knowledge by giving talks at Usergroups, contributes to Open Source projects that he uses privately and at work, and writes about things he discovers while working.

Thank you Daniel, it was a pleasure talking with you!

If you’d like to hear more from our customers, you can read our clients’ stories here. To learn about Codacy and our plans, please visit our page, with the pricing and breakdown of both Pro (Cloud) and Self-hosted plans.

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