How Vevo uses Codacy to replace legacy systems while guaranteeing code coverage

Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson

Senior VP of Product & Engineering

"A lot of our YouTube publishing pipeline is now covered through this. (...) it hit 70% code coverage across those pieces, and we’ve reduced our tech support time by about 60%."

About Vevo

Vevo is a leading music video network. They connect fans worldwide to a vast selection of premium content, from official music videos to live performances and original programming.

The main programming languages used by Vevo's development team are Kotlin and Java. They use GitHub as their version control system.


After 12 years of code, Vevo needed to modernize the technologies they used and to replace the legacy systems. This includes rewriting and refactoring portions of code or even completely changing the programming languages used. And this needs to be done while innovating in a global market.

Replacing legacy systems is just one piece of a maturing software company like Vevo. Code reviews, automated tests, and coding standards also need to become standard practice. Scott added, "We were focused on having a continuous delivery pipeline, so how we measured code quality, how we measured test coverage was key – further how we made our code review process needed to be as efficient as possible. We also had to build and improve our maturity around the development tools we were using – this added another layer of complexity but allowed for greater reward when complete."

With Codacy

Code coverage is one of the building blocks of software with good quality. This is true, of course, if the tests themselves are meaningful and worthwhile. But, given that, how much test coverage does the code need to have, in reality? Scott told us the magic number for Vevo: "We tend to push for at least 70% across everything that we do." So, how can you do it? It can be helpful to deal with the legacy system gradually, piece by piece, and have milestones along the way.

The work is not over, but the advantages of achieving code coverage in some parts of the system are already evident. Codacy helped Vevo substantially reduce the support time and avoid fires. Scott added, "A lot of our YouTube publishing pipeline is now covered through this. (...) it hit 70% code coverage across those pieces, and we've reduced our tech support time by about 60%. For most of these legacy systems that had outages or blips on an almost daily basis, we've reduced that significantly, to where we are not in rapid response or firefighting mode all the time."

Code coverage should also be a concern for today's code, not only for legacy systems. New projects can benefit from it and make life easier for the developers. As Scott said, "As we build out new pieces, we're doing it in a very modular way. Codacy, it allows us (...) to set new standards for our code coverage to make sure we're doing a good job testing."

Developers are pleased with Codacy and they understand the time needed to invest in code reviews. Using an automated code review tool allows developers to write their better code while maintaining peace of mind. They know that Codacy will flag them if something goes wrong. As Scott noted, "Engineers don't feel like they're wasting their time doing code reviews because they look at a PR and review. The code review process has been really one of the key things where it's really improved our efficiency and our cycle times and how well things work."


The next step for Vevo is to expand their usage of Codacy to even more teams working on different projects. It’s also time to aim at bolder goals and unlock the full potential of using a tool like Codacy.

As Scott told us, "It's really about expanding this across our other platforms where we're running continuous deployments all the time. Now that we see what’s possible [with Codacy], we're going to go into 2022 with a focused goal. (…) We're budgeting a certain amount of engineering support time out of that team every two weeks. So as I look to 2022, I will think about how we get that down to half, so that we're running the same software, we're spending less time fighting fires and supporting it, and more time building cooler stuff that really adds value to user experiences. And Codacy is part of that story."