Testing Airbot on our team
As members of the Phone team at Aircall, we’re responsible for Aircall’s main product, so we were the perfect candidates to test Airbot because, as we’re working on several repositories, we were well aware of our problems and we were ready to spend some time optimizing our daily life.
So we introduced Airbot to our team members in Q3 last year (you can learn more about the development process here). We started by explaining the vision behind Airbot and the MVP’s scope and asked them to first try using the Gitlab labels we’d put in place.
After a sprint and very tiny fixes here and there, their feedback was unanimous: Gitlab PRs and Jira tickets were much more synchronized so developers and leads spent less time cleaning the board. This was our first victory.
We didn’t want to stop there, so we presented the Slack commands to them. We saw a really good adoption, from junior to senior engineers, and from QAs to PMs. After a couple of months, we had a look at some of our core metrics. The changes were astonishing: Our issue cycle time dropped by 57%, and we tripled the number of PRs we reviewed and merged per week.
Increasing adoption out of our team
Now that we were convinced that Airbot did improve engineers’ daily lives, we presented it to other front-end teams in the company.
After a few weeks, all those teams were heavily using Gitlab labels, resulting in a great synchronization between PRs and tickets. Most of them were also using Slack commands.
We got the same results as with our team. For instance, the team responsible for our admin dashboard saw its issue cycle time dropped by 63% while doubling the number of reviewed and merged PRs since Q3 2021. The Android team managed to review and merge five times more PRs this quarter than in Q4 last year.
Finally, we repeated this presentation in front of the whole tech and product department. We focused on showing the results of our experimentations with the front-end teams to sell our idea. Six months after having introduced Airbot to the first team at Aircall, four teams (representing about 40 engineers) are using it daily on more than 10 projects.
What’s coming next
With such great results, we won’t stop now! We are focusing on two areas right now. First, we want to further increase the adoption of this tool at Aircall, as we truly think it will help teams deliver faster. To do so, we’ll improve the existing commands and automation rules to answer more use cases.
Second, we’ll focus on notifications. Even though we’ve set up the Jira and Gitlab integrations in Slack, most of our engineers don’t look at those notifications as they’re not helping them enough. They’re seen as either too generic, too invasive, or somewhat useless.
If you’d like to know more about Airbot or about Aircall in general, feel free to reach out to me. Our team has a very ambitious roadmap for 2022/2023, and we’re looking for software engineers, from junior to senior and staff. Other teams are hiring as well, so don’t hesitate to have a look at our other open positions here.