Head of Software Engineering
"When we started measuring things, on average, we were at 23% coverage of the 25-30 applications that were covered. Since then, that has grown; we now have 80 applications with test coverage, and the average test coverage has gone up to 64%."
Stim is a collection society of composers, authors, and publishers, with over 100 000 members and music publishers. Since 1923, they’ve been working for solid copyright protections and guaranteeing their members get paid when their music is performed, streamed, played in public, or used in TV and film.
The main programming languages used by the Stim development team include Go and TypeScript. In addition, they use GitHub as their version control system. Stim employs a hybrid solution, hosting on CGP and on-premise servers.
Much of the code Stim developers need to work with was not written today but back in the 1980s in IBM RPG, a programming language that only a few people know nowadays. As such, Stim needed to modernize the technologies used to replace legacy systems, which included rewriting and refactoring portions of code and completely changing the programming languages used.
At the same time, Stim must stay competitive in the music world and keep evolving and creating new applications. As Tobias said, “We’re building new applications to take over functionality from the old systems. (...) But we are constantly trying to keep things up-to-date and modernized, with this delicate balance between staying agile, having the latest technology, and taking care of the old systems.”
They understand the need to write high-quality code today so that their developers can more easily maintain it in the future. As Tobias explained, “The things we build must have a high quality because they will be around for a long time. They have to endure and be well-built so that they can stick around for decades to come.”
In several organizations, legacy code also means that, besides the technological gap, developers wrote the code without tests. Code coverage, however, is vital to improving software quality by lowering the chances of releasing code with undetected errors and bugs. Quoting Tobias, “When we started measuring things, on average, we were at 23% coverage of the 25-30 applications that were covered. Since then, that has grown; we now have 80 applications with test coverage, and the average test coverage has gone up to 64%. So it’s been tremendous growth in how we are testing our applications.”
As a general rule, the new code cannot introduce any new issue. Plus, the feedback given by Codacy Quality is used to improve already existing code. So Stim implemented a triage process to address those issues, improving their code quality. In this process, one person per team is on triage duty, where they spend some time looking at critical issues and deciding if they’ll fix them now, if it’s something they shouldn’t fix, or if they should create a ticket about it.
As Tobias told us, “Your [Codacy’s] issue detection has been very enlightening because some older applications had something like 43 000 critical issues. It’s impossible just to pause everything and fix all the issues. So we implemented something we call triage (...) We have seen that the issues vanish in the teams who have been good at it. And the code quality is very good. Just having this practice again has lifted us, and that was thanks to Codacy because Codacy identified it and gave us a useful list to prioritize.”
The next step for Stim is to expand their usage of Codacy Quality and better configure the platform for their needs. They also recently started using Codacy Pulse. As Tobias told us, “I’m super curious about Pulse because this year our KPIs are the DORA metrics. So that will be very interesting to look at as well.”
At Codacy, we’ll keep developing exciting products to help organizations like Stim empower their development teams. In Tobias’ words, “It’s great to see how your product keeps developing as well. That gives me some safety that we picked the right product as well. You keep developing things, and much of what you develop is in the direction that I would like to see as well. So that’s great.”
We look forward to seeing what Stim accomplishes in their mission of influencing policies and working for diversity and re-growth in the music industry.
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