How Arcane fixed 50% of their technical debt and improved productivity, quality, and morale

Amneet Bains
Amneet Bains
17
Jan
2022
|
3 min read
Learn how the Arcane team achieved tech debt visibility and fixed half of their codebase issues with Stepsize.

Results:

  • More than 50% of the issues created in Stepsize have been resolved.
  • Technical risk factors are identified early in new projects, significantly increasing productivity and reducing the number of bugs shipped. 
  • The healthier codebase has improved the team’s morale and made it easier to recruit and onboard new engineers.

The Client:

Arcane is a SaaS platform that creates digital acquisition strategies by leveraging data. Emilien Giard is a Senior Software Engineer at Arcane and was tasked with finding a solution to their technical debt challenge.

“Stepsize allowed us to resolve more than 50% of our technical debt issues. We have literally been gifted time to work on value-adding features.” Emilien Giard, Senior Software Engineer

The Challenge:

Arcane suffered from the same problem that most SaaS companies struggle with, an endless tech debt backlog with zero visibility. This made it impossible to effectively plan projects and resulted in too many bugs, planning delays and less time spent building value-adding features.

The tech debt was stored in a Trello backlog without a clear structure or template. Engineers would add issues as and when they felt it was needed. Senior engineers struggled to figure out which issues to tackle first, which often led to no action at all.  

Arcane wanted a better end-to-end process to deal with and plan for tech debt, so they started looking for a SaaS tool that could give them visibility on key issues in the codebase.

The solution:

After a quick call with the Stepsize team, Emilien was excited about Stepsize’s key differentiator: linking issues to the codebase. He imported key issues from his tech debt Trello board and linked them to the relevant code in his editor.

The Stepsize annotations automatically made tech debt issues visible in the codebase. Engineers started noticing and considering tech debt while they were coding, allowing them to avoid making issues worse and in some cases, fix the issues they encountered.

When planning projects, Emilien could easily browse relevant tech debt in the code, in order to identify risk factors

The team was sold on the visibility and ease-of-use, so they collectively started logging new issues in Stepsize, making it a core part of the planning process.

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