What we are
Static Object is CliffsNotes™ for GitHub. We digest all your repository's commits into a quantified data stream that lets managers and engineers get the gist of their code faster. For developers, we reduce tedious review work and leave more time for coding. For managers, we provide a window through which to observe the state of their developer team. For both, we provide a dashboard of code metrics that helps make decisions supported by data.
Why we are here
Static Object sprung from the pain of scaling the development team for Bonanza.com. Once we hit 10 developers, it became immensely time-consuming for us to answer even simple questions about our development team:
- Who is working on what? Is anyone stuck?
- Does our weekly "work from home" day impact productivity? By how much?
- How does Bob's code output from his first three months compare to one of our top developers, like Alice?
- What should we talk about during Alice’s annual review, i.e., what was Alice working on 9 months ago and how did that go?
For code review, GitHub could suffice, even if the time required to read a day's worth of commits was clearly longer than necessary ("previous commit" button, anyone?).
For productivity-based questions, our options were far worse. All of the prior art seemed based on commit counting or code line counting -- both effectively useless for gauging the impact made by a developer. Online discussions of development quantification were inexorably drawn toward hopelessness. But we were hopeful. If a Lead Developer can express the characteristics of their most valuable developers, then why couldn't we teach a learning algorithm to do the same?
All of this brings us to present: a tool that can map how code changes over time, intelligently group commits of similar purpose, and present a team like ours with a productivity metric built to analyze code like a Lead Developer would.
Read more about: How our code analysis works
Static Object is built by the team that built Bonanza.com.
About Bill Harding
Bill is driven by the challenge of how best to quantify valuable questions that defy quantification. It's possible this instinct may have been awakened in Bill at age 14, when he won a soft, stuffed bunny at the orthodontist for guessing the number of jelly beans in the gumball machine. The thrill of a difficult quantification was whetted by Bonanza's pursuit of the Background Burner, the first commercial technology to succeed in separating "foreground" from "background" pixels in an arbitrary (human or ecommerce) image. Bill's general premise is that if a human can describe how they perform a task, it should be possible to build an algorithm that does the same, thereby saving the human’s time.
For the last 10 years, Bill has helped shepherd Bonanza.com from a bedroom side project to a company that is consistently recommended over Amazon and eBay by sellers participating in the largest annual poll of ecommerce sellers. In the last few years, Bonanza has been named one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and had our Background Burner named one of Time's Top 50 Websites. In 2017, Bill was an Ernst & Young finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year.