Crunch Code Review hashtags with Gerrit DevOps Analytics

Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 11.13.06.pngWe have already discussed in previous posts how important it is to speedup the feedback loop in your Software Development Lifecycle. Having early feedbacks gives you the chance of evaluating your hypothesis and eventually change direction if needed. 

The more information you have, the smarter can be your decisions.

We recently added in our Gerrit DevOps Analytics the possibility of extracting data coming from Code Reviews’ metadata to extend the knowledge we can get out of Gerrit.

Furthermore, it is possible to extract meta-data from repositories not necessarily hosted on the Gerrit instance running the analytics processing. This is a big improvement since it allows to fully analyse repositories coming from any Gerrit server.

For example, the Gerrit analytics we are providing on https://analytics.gerrithub.io are coming from the Gerrit repository hosted on the gerrit-review.googlesource.com, the Gerrit server hosted by Google.

Hashtags aggregation

One important type of meta-data contained in the Code Reviews is the hashtag.

Hashtags are freeform strings associated with a change, like on social media platforms. In Gerrit, you explicitly associate hashtags with changes using a dedicated area of the UI; they are not parsed from commit messages or comments.

Similar to topics, hashtags can be used to group related changes together and to search using the hashtag: operator. Unlike topics, a change can have multiple hashtags, and they are only used for informational grouping; changes with the same hashtags are not necessarily submitted together.

You can use them, for example, to mark and easily search all the changes blocking a particular release:

Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 10.43.00.png

Hashtags can also be used to aggregate all the changes people have been working on during a particular event, for example, the Gerrit User Summit 2019 hackathon:

Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 10.44.39.png

The latest version of the Gerrit Analytics plugin exposes the hashtags attached to their respecting Git commit data. Let’s explore together some use cases:

The most popular Gerrit Code Review hashtags over the last 12 months

Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 10.47.49.png

Throughput of changes created during an event

see for example the Palo alto hackathon (#palo-alto-2018). We can see at the end of the week the spike of changes to release Gerrit 2.16.

Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 10.56.44.png

The extend of time for a feature

Removing GWT was an extensive effort which started in 2017 and ended in 2019. It took several hackathons to tackle the removal as shown by the hashtags distribution. Some changes were started in one hackathon and finalised in the next one.

Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 11.05.51.png

Those were some example of useful information on how to leverage the power of GDA.

The above examples are taken from the GDA dashboard provided and hosted by GerritForge on https://analytics.gerrithub.io which mirror commits and reviews on a regular basis from the Gerrit project and its plugin ecosystem.

How to setup GDA on Gerrit

Hashtag extraction is currently available from Gerrit 3.1 onwards. You can download the latest version released from the Gerrit CI.

To enable hashtag extraction you need to enable the feature extraction in the plugin config file as follow:

# analitycs.config
[contributors]
  extract-hashtags = true

For more information on how to configure and run the plugin, look at the analytics plugin documentation.

Conclusion

Data is the goldmine of your company. You need more and more of it for making smarter decision. The latest version of the GDA allows you to leverage even more data produced during the code review process.

You can explore the potential of the information held in Gerrit on the analytics dashboard provided by GerritForge on analytics.gerrithub.io.

If you would like your open source Gerrit hosted project to be added to our dashboard or would need help in setting up and supporting GDA for your organization, get in touch with GerritForge Sales Team and we can help you making smarter decisions today.

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