🧙 What We Are
GitClear's "Line Impact" measurement cuts to the heart of what's happening in your git repos, so everyone on the team (technical or not) sees the development progress with the clarity of an experienced CTO. 🧐 We believe transparency improves communication and creates empathy between the various roles on a software team. For example, it can help a Manager to identify and assist a newly hired Developer who might be struggling to get up to speed. Or it can help Developers prove -- with data -- to Senior Leadership how much tech debt is eroding potential development velocity.
For example, here is the Line Impact of the note-taking/to-do list app Amplenote, viewed over the last 5 years across 10 different repos in which development takes place:
This graph tells the story of a team that has used data to make "meta-optimizations," like consistently adopting integration tests to avoid dayslong debugging episodes. Accurate visual data enables consistent improvement, year after year.
As the adage goes, "what gets measured improves." Since GitClear has proven that Line Impact correlates more strongly with "Completed Story Points" than any other git metric, our customers tend to find that measuring Line Impact boosts the number of Story Points that are completed each sprint.
🧑💻 Core Developer Values
In order to help developers understand and improve their work, they must feel supported by management. We delve into the responsibility that comes with developer measurement in this essay, Toward Developer Measurement of Greatest Shared Benefit.
Developers love specifics, so here five specific commitments that GitClear makes to improve life for developers:
- Provide dev tools to help get more done every day. Our headline features, Commit Activity Browser and the Directory Browser, were built to address pain points shared by most developers -- including our company's own developers, who rely on these tools daily.
- Improved transparency. We built an entire diff viewer from the ground up, just to ensure developers can check for themselves how the nitty gritty details of Line Impact add up. Other "Developer Productivity" tools are more of a black box. It's usually difficult to work out how individual "commits" or lines of code" contribute to the labels that get applied to developers.
- Consistent recognition. The best developers will remain underpaid until transparency emerges to illustrate the extent of their contribution. GitClear helps a team's "load-bearing developers" be recognized as such.
- Reduce unproductive meetings, increase schedule flexibility. The Hourly Impact graph makes clear to all stakeholders the costs of breaking developers' flow state with scheduled events. By a similar token, historical Line Impact graphs can prove that flexible "work from home" policies often translate to measurable improvements in developer output compared to working from the office 100% of the time.
- Identify and polish one's best skills. Especially for junior developers, it can be hard to figure out where they "fit" relative to other team members. GitClear provides tools to help a Junior Developer compare their velocity when working in different languages, libraries, and platforms. This helps them evolve to maximize their intrinsic talents.
All members of GitClear leadership team are themselves day-to-day programmers, so you could say GitClear executives relate strongly to a developer's sensibilities. 🤨 We have strong incentives to keep building more tools that save time for developers (/ ourselves), as made possible by Line Impact.
🕵️ 14 Years Experience Pursuing the Hardest Problems
GitClear graduated from "beta" status in 2019, but the company behind GitClear, called "Alloy," has been around since 2008. Over its long existence, Alloy has repeatedly been named a "Best Place to Work." In four separate years, the largest seller survey conducted online (by EcommerceBytes) has voted Alloy's online marketplace, Bonanza.com, "the Best eBay Alternative marketplace. In 2021, 10,000+ sellers voted Bonanza the marketplace they'd most likely recommend to a friend (over Etsy, eBay, even Amazon) 😳.
Most new sites on the internet (and many of GitClear's customers 🙏) are built by companies that were funded by large sums of venture capital. The nature of VC funds is that they "mature" every 10 years, which puts immense pressure on the companies receiving VC capital to sell, raise a bigger round, or IPO within 10 years of receiving investment -- the pressure usually starts after 5 years. Consequently, it has become rare to see internet companies remain independent for 10+ years. We see this as neither good nor bad, but it has distinct implications for the type of "developer measurement" product that can be built, given those resource constraints.
It took us 3 years of full-time internal research and development just to get Line Impact to a point where it passed the sniff test of being ready to show to customers (in 2019). We have continued to improve it every month since. The graphs & reports you see, on GitClear and on GitClear's competitors, take at most "weeks" to implement. But, getting the data underneath those graphs to be fair & correct is a totally different story. It takes years of work, and generations of evolution. Without proper time to evolve, it's easy to end up with sharp-looking graphs backed by half-baked data sources.
🤓 Who We Are
GitClear is led by Programmer/CEO Bill Harding. Aside from programming, Bill's other lifelong passions are measurement and personal productivity. The thrill of measurement stems from it being integral to continuous learning & improvement. Trying to improve without reliable measurement is like trying to drive across the country without a map. To whatever extent it may be possible, it's ridiculously inefficient. The only thing worse than trying to improve without measurement is trying to improve with unreliable measurement.