How Cloudhealth uses Flow to debug the development process
CloudHealth by VMware is a cloud management platform that helps companies analyze and manage cloud resources, cost, and security across AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Data Center Resources from a single interface. Based in Boston, MA, CloudHealth is the leader in the multi-cloud management space, with 3,000+ global customers, and was acquired in 2018 by VMWare.
To maintain its leadership position within the market, CloudHealth must be innovative and agile. In an organization that uses Continuous Deployment and values continuous improvement, it’s little wonder that one of the major focus areas of CloudHealth’s VP of Engineering, Adam Abrevaya, is to identify opportunities to fix and improve processes so the team can ship software more seamlessly.
But Continuous Deployment primarily provided visibility into what was shipped, and provided limited, if any, insight into how it was built - especially across teams. And as the company scaled - continuing to double in size year over year - Adam and his team became increasingly aware that they needed greater visibility and insight into the organization’s development process at large.
“A world without Pluralsight Flow is one without hard data and no real evidence of how things are going. As engineering teams get larger, it’s more complicated; more repos, more code, more people. Without a tool like Flow that pulls it all together, it’s almost impossible to get a handle on what’s going on.”
Adam Abrevaya, VP of Engineering at CloudHealth
CloudHealth evaluated Pluralsight Flow and soon after rolled the platform out to the broader engineering organization. With Pluralsight Flow, they had the ability to scan the entire development process from a 30,000-foot view - and then could pinpoint areas where processes weren’t serving the teams as well as they could. Even more, engineering managers finally had the data necessary to coach engineers toward healthier collaboration habits.
In 9 months, CloudHealth saw a 2x improvement across the engineering organization along the Code Fundamental metrics.
“A big part of using Flow is regularly identifying what we can tweak,” says Adam. “We initially saw a great improvement along with the metric Active Days per Week, after we changed meeting schedules so engineers could have more space to really focus and write code. A lot of best practices shared with us by Flow gave us the direction we needed to improve health and productivity across the entire organization.”
“Flow is there purely to help us get better,” says Adam. “Everyone wants to know how they are doing. If there is a dip in productivity, we can finally have conversations about why it’s happening. It’s a really healthy way for us to evaluate a measurement, make a change, and see the results of those changes.”
The key benefits of Pluralsight Flow for CloudHealth
Increase in impact to codebase
Increase in features delivered
Decrease in bugs introduced
“We could not scale CloudHealth without Flow. We would not have the visibility we need to tell us when we are making the wrong turn. With Flow, these insights are now immediate.”
Adam Abrevaya, VP of Engineering at CloudHealth
Results and next steps
In addition to improvements across the organization’s core health indicators, Adam says there’s been a drastic reduction in the average length of time it takes for a pull request to go from open to merged. The code review process is experiencing a healthier level of collaboration, and feedback is providing much quicker - so engineers can incorporate that feedback earlier and ultimately ship code faster. “A world without Flow is one without hard data and no real evidence of how things are going. As engineering teams get larger, it’s more complicated - with more repos, more code, more people. Without a tool that pulls it all together, it’s almost impossible to get a handle on what’s going on,” says Adam.
Adam says that CloudHealth has experienced a spectrum of benefits with the help of Flow, such as:
01 Delivering more product improvements to customers. With Flow, CloudHealth was able to measure the impact of adding additional headcount to the engineering team, which directly correlated to the value being delivered to customers. Adam says having data that helped explain that story, along with the uptick in happy customers providing feedback, gave Engineering greater credibility with the rest of the organization.
02 Having a set of standard metrics to share with the rest of CloudHealth. Before Flow, CloudHealth’s Engineering didn’t have a set of metrics that tracked the health and productivity of the organization. Now, with Flow, Adam is able to regularly report to the company's executive leadership on key engineering metrics, which has helped his case in justifying allocating energy toward specific org-wide initiatives and making the case for adding additional headcount.
03 Creating a shared language and better visibility for engineering teams and management. With everyone - managers and engineers alike - having the same set of metrics, conversations about work patterns and prioritization efforts and process improvements have become more clear and actionable.
"A lot of best practices shared with us by Flow gave us the direction we needed to improve the health and productivity across the organization."
Adam Abrevaya, VP of Engineer at CloudHealth