Workflow management: removing “goals” feature

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How to write legible QA tests

Our quality-minded software engineer shares best practices for writing legible QA tests.

Building Codacy, we’ve learned a lot about how people want quality management throughout their workflow.

By listening to customers we’ve learned that the most important job of our product is to standardize quality in teams, departments and companies. Many lessons come about by looking at how people are using the product.

As such, today we’re killing our goals feature.

And the reason is simple: in the last month, only 50 people created a goal and while interest in the feature was good, usage was not.

Why did we create goals in the first place?

People use Codacy in two different ways. The first is to clean code as they commit/pull request. As Codacy identifies problems in code, people fix it. In other words: very actionable and easy to manage — as you create problems you fix them.

The Second is to identify all problems in a code base. While being very important, this is not actionable at all as what can you really do with the information that you have 50,000 quality problems in your code?

So what we tried to do with our Goals feature was to make this second component actionable by giving you easy to resolve insights that over time compound.

Why did it fail?

Goals was a first test into how could we “gamify” code quality.

We now know Goals failed because:

  1. Goals did not integrate well enough with neither other parts of the product nor other tools that help developers manage their day to day
  2. It wasn’t easy enough to use.

What’s next?

We really like the idea of helping you fix the unsurmountable amount of technical debt in your code base. As such, we’re still excited about this. We will revisit this feature in the future with a better understanding of what our users and customers want.

Thoughts? Feedback? Comments?

We can only do the right product if we learn from you. Tells us how you feel about this. How would a great Goals feature be?


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