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OpenTable Leverages Velocity To Predictably Roll Out Platform Rewrite

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By: Code Climate
January 25, 2024


OpenTable is a renowned leader in restaurant tech, with products that anticipate the ever-evolving needs of both restaurants and diners. Its website, — which helps restaurants fill more than 1.6 billion seats a year — is supported by globally distributed teams of engineers.

In 2019, the site was rearchitected, and OpenTable was faced with the challenge of bringing together many teams as the commercial site was rebuilt as a monolith. During this project, Velocity supported engineering leaders in gaining further visibility into their engineering processes, which enabled them to bring consistency and reliability to development — ultimately empowering their teams to collaborate more effectively.

Reliable Engineering Management with Velocity

John Nolan, Senior Director of Engineering at OpenTable, said their approach to rearchitecting was essential for consolidating ideas and ensuring consistency across many globally distributed teams. Velocity helped them to better measure effectiveness and more easily identify bottlenecks that might hold up progress.

After learning about the benefits of Software Engineering Intelligence platforms at a Code Climate event, Nolan knew Velocity could provide the insight OpenTable needed to more formally measure engineering impact.

Velocity delivered insight into engineering processes so that the business could better understand if their changes were effective. For instance, he was able to see the changes over time in Velocity for metrics like Pull Request (PR) Throughput and Cycle Time.

The goal was to work with Code Climate and identify opportunities to help the teams work together more effectively. Ultimately, they would support improvements in efficiency and productivity as they improved communication and collaboration. In the first year, PR Throughput per Contributor increased by 40%. With more people working more productively, the team realized gains in output.

“Velocity gave us valuable data to see that the things we were doing were solving the problems that we needed to,” Nolan said. “We saw metrics get better because we were building the right things in the right way.”

Critical Insight for Engineering Leadership

Nolan is in a new role and another step away from the code, and he finds the insight from Velocity valuable in understanding the complexities of the engineering organization at OpenTable. Both standard and custom reports have proven helpful in identifying activity patterns and maintaining development speed across their widely distributed teams. He said that, while individual engineering managers often know about their own teams’ activities, the visibility Code Climate provides is useful in identifying trends and understanding team-by-team activity.

OpenTable has expanded Velocity use and has now deployed the platform across all product engineering teams throughout its global engineering organization. Because Code Climate built its solution with enterprises in mind, Velocity has a unique ability to ingest and normalize data with reliability and speed at scale, supporting the engineering team at OpenTable to better visualize metrics and understand engineering impact and team health.

“It's invaluable to have a glance at teams' health and have the data necessary to understand where we need to address any issues,” he said.

After OpenTable again expanded their use of the Velocity platform, it has further increased visibility and supported leaders in identifying more opportunities to improve throughput and move faster as an organization. With that information, it was possible for the organization to make changes that kept PR Throughput high while decreasing Cycle Time by 57% and Time to Merge by 23%.

Velocity supports OpenTable with the data they need. With Code Climate, they have the visibility and understanding necessary to maintain consistency across teams, ensure efficiency, and cultivate a culture of engineering excellence throughout the organization.

Key Highlights

  • In the first year, PR Throughput per contributor increased by 40%

  • In 2023, OpenTable saw a 57% decrease in Cycle Time

  • In 2023, they saw a 23% decrease in Time to Merge

To find out how Velocity can support you in identifying opportunities for improvement, speak to a product specialist

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