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How EverQuote Harnesses Data from Velocity to Streamline Processes & Coach Engineers

Mike Tridente

By: Mike Tridente
July 28, 2022

Adult working on laptop at desk

EverQuote, Inc. operates a leading online insurance marketplace, connecting consumers with insurance providers. The company’s mission is to empower insurance shoppers to better protect life’s most important assets—their family, property, and future. EverQuote uses data and technology to make insurance simpler, more affordable, and personalized, ultimately reducing cost and risk. Based in Cambridge, MA, EverQuote is one of the fastest growing companies in the Boston area.

As the company scaled, they had a pressing need to analyze engineering team performance in relation to product development. With important questions around technical debt, PR speed, and potential bottlenecks, they began searching for the right solution to address their needs.

The Right Tool for the Job

To quantify their engineering team’s performance and gain actionable insights, EverQuote was in search of a powerful solution. They tested Jira first, but found it wasn’t able to clearly connect the data to their engineering work. Another software intelligence platform wasn’t able to provide the comprehensive and holistic metrics that they needed. 

With important questions unanswered around how much technical debt was accruing and how fast PRs were moving, EverQuote’s leadership found themselves frustrated knowing that there were bottlenecks in their code review process but lacking visibility into where or how work was getting stuck. 

Enter Code Climate Velocity. 

Actionable Insights Drive Process Optimization

EverQuote began working with Code Climate and found immediate value in Velocity. Engineering leaders and managers were able to see the precise length of time that PRs were open, and how much time transpired before they were reviewed and eventually merged. Velocity also allowed them to directly link each PR back to the relevant Jira ticket in the same view, providing the team with a more complete picture of their work to ensure transparency and accurate prioritization. Additionally, thanks to the breadth of metrics offered by Velocity, they were able to dig into each phase of development to gain a more complete understanding of their Cycle Time – their engineering speed – which provided deeper insights.

One such insight occurred when taking a high-level look at Velocity’s Code Review module. Everquote leadership observed that several teams were approving over half of their PRs without comments. Upon further investigation, they uncovered that these teams were handling a large volume of mundane tasks that did not actually need review. With this information, EverQuote’s engineering leaders quickly worked with product managers to automate more basic configuration tasks and reserve engineers’ time for complex work.

Data Reveals Trends and Coachable Moments  

In many cases, the insights uncovered by Velocity extended beyond process improvements and helped managers identify opportunities to coach their team. In one case, Code Review analysis revealed a developer that had the highest level of Review Influence on the team – their reviews were thorough and meaningful – surprisingly had the lowest Involvement metric, meaning they were involved with the smallest percentage of pull requests.

Armed with this data, the engineering manager sat down with this developer to learn that they were spending a significant chunk of their time in meetings, limiting their capacity to be involved in the code review process. The manager applied these learnings and helped block off daily time on the developer’s calendar for code reviews. Within a month, their Involvement dramatically increased, and with their contribution to code reviews, the team was able to move code more quickly through review, improving the team PR Cycle Time by several percentage points.  

A Multitude of Metrics to Increase Effectiveness

With Velocity integrated into their organization, EverQuote had a wealth of valuable information, enabling them to quickly identify where gaps and bottlenecks existed and helping them to pinpoint the causes. “I love how I can mix and match a bunch of metrics together to look for correlations, make hypotheses about what’s happening with teams, and identify datasets that line up with those hypotheses to validate them,” explained Pheak Yi, Director of Engineering.

Velocity’s reliable, concrete data helps EverQuote understand issues, make recommendations to teams, and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of changes. Since implementing Velocity, EverQuote has improved many critical metrics, including:

  • ↑ 18% PR Throughput per Contributor
  • ↓ 42% Cycle Time
  • ↑ 19% Commit Volume 
  • ↓ 44% Time to First Review  
  • ↓ 53% Time to Merge  

To learn how Velocity can help you uncover insights to optimize your team’s performance, reach out to one of our product specialists.

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