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ClickMechanic uses GitHub to streamline coding to production

Digital service that connects car mechanics and garages to customers sees GitHub as a core part of its coding lifecycle

ClickMechanic has extended the use of the GitHub repository to support greater collaboration across its DevOps, continuous testing and continuous integration processes.

The company, a McKinsey spinout, offers an online marketplace for car repair and car mechanics powered by a quotation engine that provides fixed-price industry quotes from 1,600 mechanics and garages.

The London-based car repair service believes car repair and services is an industry ripe to benefit from digitisation. CEO and co-founder Andrew Jervis said: “The auto industry is lacking, given all the data we have access to.”

Founded in 2012, ClickMechanic has relied on GitHub to make incremental upgrades, push out new features and ensure continuity of service to its extensive customer base.

Using the Git version control system on which GitHub is built is integral to its development, enabling easy tracking, modification and changes of code on the fly.

“Without the collaborative open source environment, not to mention the overall ease of coding and integrating through GitHub, we simply wouldn’t have got our product to market fast enough,” said Jervis. “We have been relying on the platform since ClickMechanic started in 2012, and looked to the open source community extensively during that fledgling period. It really is the lynchpin that holds our various software clients and subsystems together.” 

Commenting on how the company has extended the use of GitHub, ClickMechanic co-founder Felix Kenton said: “A big trend is moving from version control to more of an integrated process for continuous integration and continuous testing.”

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The way this has been set up at ClickMechanic means that all automated test suites are integrated into GitHub. When code is pushed up to GitHub, the code repository notifies external services that new code needs to be examined, which are then spun up to run up automated tests, said Kenton.

The company is also using GitHub to support continuous deployment. Here, automation is used to compile CSS and Java script code and deploy the new software.

With six full-time developers, two of them external, ClickMechanic has had to ensure its collaborative development environment works effectively, both for the internal staff and the pair who are not office-based. “We have a remote compatible process using standup calls,” said Kenton, explaining how daily meetings take place.

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