- Company Name：Enechange Co., Ltd.
- Interviewees：CTO Atsuo Shiraki、Engineer Taki Yuya
Enechange Co., Ltd., Innovate the Future Energy
－Please tell us about Enechange Co., Ltd., and the development team.
Enechange is an energy startup company operating the power company comparison service "Enechange"( https://enechange.jp/ ). With the liberalization of power retail sales in 2016, consumers were granted the chance to choose their own power company. "Enechange" is a service that allows users to compare and select the best plan for them from those choices. It handles 80 power companies and 10 gas companies at the time of this interview (*March 15, 2017), but we're planning to increase these numbers in the future.
Our comparison service asks for the zip code of your residential area, the number of people in the household, lifestyle and current power usage, and recommends power rate plans suited for each household. Also, as one of our offline approaches, we established a "power concierge" to answer customers' inquiries such as how to choose a power plan or explanations of each plan.
Our mission is to " Innovate the Future Energy". We have "Energise the Team" as a value for making this mission come true. Yes, "Energise", as we are an energy startup company. In short, it means to motivate, lift, and have good influences on each other.
For engineers, code reviews would be a part of "Energise the Team", but it's hard to do code reviews that can lift each other up when reviewing minor mistakes and differences in preferences too much. In fact, dealing with such indications all the time would be an exhausting task.
In that respect, if we can utilize a static analysis tool to help us along on that point, we can focus on more essential reviews.
Finding bugs that can be found especially by machines
In recent years, many types of rate structures were made due to the liberalization of the energy industry. There are many things that can be made better there by Enechange Co., things that can be made more convenient and diverse with IT and information that can be gained through technology, like how information from the smart meter is handled.
Enechange's development team answers these needs not only by the "Enechange" service but several other projects, and new features and improvements are being deployed almost every day. The smaller time span between releases, the fewer bugs, and the faster we can provide value to the market.
In rapid release situations like this, there is a time about once a month where SideCI finds a dodgy bug and makes us very impressed and relieved it didn't go unnoticed. There was a case when a hash was duplicated due to a slight copy mistake (DuplicatedKey). Mistakes like these are often overlooked by humans, so we think SideCI has a good cost performance, even only considering the part about automatically finding bugs that can be found by machines.
Adapting to the changes in the team's situations
－Please tell us what led to the introduction of SideCI
We really felt the need for a tool from a long time ago. Originally, there were times when we used other tools and introduced RuboCop in our company, but things didn't work out well, like not being able to agree on the preferences in the configs. Just then, a recommended set of rules with superb balance, MeowCop, was released for SideCI. We thought this balance in rules should fit the bill just fine, and introduced SideCI.
The timing was good too. We were really in need, with a variety of new people joining and the team's situation changing. At the time, we stopped using tools since there were only really experienced engineers, but after that, people from outsourcing and young engineers joined the team, and each of their characteristics began to show, so the need to get rid of such variations and get things in order got really significant.
One of the very good things in introducing SideCi was that a culture where people make revisions without other people's indications was formed. In the past, there were many cases where the commented portion from the tools wasn't revised, as they were too many or didn't suit the circumstance.
Considering the impact on sales when bugs occur, and the improvement of development efficiency, I'd say the cost performance of SideCI's usage fee is definitely worth it.
Anyways, you can always use SideCI for free in open source projects, too. I always make sure to enable it right after doing "Rails new" in personal projects.
In the future, we plan to automize everything concerning power liberalization with IT.
There are still many companies that are yet to be computerized despite their need. We want to answer those needs as much as we can.
Also, our value "Energise the Team" doesn't just address our in-company team. We mean to energise the whole of our company, the power industry, and on top of all that, all of the energy industry.
We'll do our utmost best as one of the few startup companies in the industry, to innovate the future energy!