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Engineering Transparency

The GitClear Blog

Introducing Pull Request Stats: Clarity and Speed in Collaboration

Posted by Brian Leahy at 11:40am on July 18, 2019
Pull requests are an essential part of the development cycle, but it can be a challenge to gain insight into the process. Managers need to ensure that their team's pull request reviews are timely and thorough. In order to understand who needs help (and where), managers also want to identify which developers require the most revisions after submitting pull requests. Without further ado, we're excited to introduce a feature that will help managers and product owners understand their developers' pull requests to a revolutionary degree. The new PR Stats page provides a wealth of data on individual developers that will...
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Introducing Commit Browser, a code review tool for people who read a lot of code (or wish they did)

Posted by Bill Harding at 5:24pm on July 8, 2019
Another week, another GitClear improvement for those who read code. We're calling this one "Commit Browser." If you're a customer, it's already available after you login. 🎉 The full "Commit Browse" experience is depicted in the first picture here. It starts with a "bubble graph" of all recent commits by committer. It then continues with details about a particular commit group of five commits that the user had clicked on:     There's a lot going on here, but hopefully it feels intuitive? Let's briefly review the highlights from this page, starting with the bubble graph: The bubbles at the top...
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GitClear: A New Name for a New Chapter

Posted by Bill Harding at 10:16am on June 13, 2019
June 13th marks a momentous day for us: we're changing our name, and we're tweaking our objective. The tl; dr is that, after today, the company previously known as "Static Object" will henceforth be known as "GitClear." Our objective will shift subtly to putting developers themselves front-and-center when mulling which new features to build.    Updating our vision, inspired by the progress of Gitprime and their clones Nobody knows why we were originally named "Static Object." Historians from the Louvre were summoned to investigate this historical anomaly, and their conclusion was that it must have been the work of an idiot...
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Introducing File Browser: A Deeper Look into the Repo

Posted by Bill Harding at 4:52pm on May 29, 2019
Today marks the launch of a feature we've been looking forward to since our inception. For this one, we wanted to address a few of the most common customer questions we hear: How can we identify where tech debt is lurking in our code? What are the biggest changes to our repo during the last X months? Which developer is best suited to make an update to Y legacy feature? The answers to these questions and more lie within the newly launched File Browser: Image: Past six months of activity in the Bonanza repo The easiest way to check out...
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Committer tab update

Posted by Bill Harding at 11:21pm on May 19, 2019
Today we decided to freshen the venerable labels used to describe the pages specific to a committer: The updated version will rearrange the same information into the following buckets: Note that "Highlights" is a new tab, so technically we changed four tabs and added one. But why would we change four tabs? The most pressing reason was that there was no clear delineation between "stats," "skills," and "performance review." Each of these tabs had charts that could conceivably have been placed in a different tab, which was a good indication that they were overly vague.  The new titles are wordier, but...
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Bubble Activity Graph, a better commit list for busy people

Posted by Bill Harding at 8:47pm on April 25, 2019
I'm excited to announce the release of my favorite GitClear feature we've built so far. We're calling it the Bubble Activity Graph (henceforth, BAG). Depending on the repo being viewed, it will look something like this: The BAG acronym is apt, considering how many pieces of commit data this visualization bundles together into a compact space. In the vertical height of a couple hundred pixels, BAG communicates: How many commits (one bubble = one commit) and how big an impact (more impact = bigger bubble) is being made through the day, per committer Who made the commit? Each color corresponds to...
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Our latest article, "6 Ways GitClear Can Improve Your Developer Performance Reviews"

Posted by Brian Leahy at 3:20pm on March 25, 2019
Our latest article takes you on a quick tour through the Performance Review page, one of the most valuable features of GitClear Learn how it helps managers review their developers' older projects with the same clarity as recent ones, track improvements and qualitative feedback, and match developers up with the tasks that they are best at. Developers can also use this page to determine their own strengths and weaknesses, gather accomplishments to mention in their next review, and make a compelling case for future projects they’d like to be included on.
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Our latest article: "Measuring developer productivity: new hope for data-driven managers in 2019"

Posted by Bill Harding at 8:49am on February 26, 2019
Today we publish the results of 50 hours spent researching and writing on the topic of "Measuring Developer Productivity," inasmuch as that is possible. tl; dr the tools in the space have come a long way in the past five years. They're only one piece of the puzzle, but they're an important piece that seems to drive measurably higher output among adopters. Hope you find some value from the weeks spent compiling this. Drop us a line here if you have thoughts on how to make it better?
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Announcing Hourly Line Impact

Posted by Bill Harding at 5:16pm on February 22, 2019
Today marks the launch of a feature we've been looking forward to since we started building GitClear: a graph that illustrates how the output of a team or committer fluctuates over the course of an average work week! Here's the Hourly Line Impact of Alloy (our company) during the past year: What can we spot in regards to team productivity? There's negligible work happening before 8am or on the weekends Wednesday -- our weekly "Work from Home" day -- doesn't glow as hot during the morning as an office day, but our team compensates for that by stretching the day...
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As a software engineer, here are some tools that have saved me a huge amount of time

Posted by Bill Harding at 1:28pm on February 14, 2019
I recently answered a great question on Quora: "As a software engineer, what are some tools you use that save a huge amount of your time?" The answer seemed to resonate with many readers, as substantiated by the 33k views and 100+ upvotes it has accumulated over the first few days since being published. I'm republishing it here since it's a topic likely to be of some interest to GitClear's audience as well.     My approach to identifying the best developer tools has evolved significantly over my past 25 years spent coding. When I was a junior developer, I...
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Why we focus on a single, reliable metric

Posted by Bill Harding at 9:47pm on February 5, 2019
It's no secret that we've invested a tremendous amount of energy into crafting Line Impact into a single, reliable metric. We want managers to rely upon it to inform their most valuable decisions. In effect, we've bet thousands of hours that there is a holy grail -- a single metric that can accurately represent which developers are having the greatest impact on your repos -- and thus your company.  To a software developer approaching GitClear for the first time, it might seem like a reckless bet to make. Books could be filled with the internet screeds about the futility of...
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Announcing Teams: Our Most Requested Feature Arrives

Posted by Bill Harding at 10:48am on January 25, 2019
Today we released the feature most requested from our demos over the past year: the ability to group developers so that managers can compare like-with-like. In this blog, we'll review the details of how it works and what you can do with it. And so without further ado, let's jump straight in.   Setting up a team The first step in leveraging teams to compare developers is to setup the teams that your company recognizes. You can do this by visiting the "Teams" tab now available under the "Settings" menu. You'll then be presented the opportunity to name your team and...
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Developer Stand Up Reports: See Recent Progress at a Glance

Posted by Bill Harding at 3:10pm on January 18, 2019
This week heralded the launch of our new Stand Up Meetings report. This report is designed specifically for teams that utilize stand up meetings, the everyday ritual whereby developers huddle to appraise their manager what they've been working on lately, and what blocking issues are slowing down progress.   If you've ever participated in a stand up meeting, you probably know the pain points. It's often disturbingly difficult to remember what you were working on two days ago. Sometimes you'll have worked on 5 different tickets since your last meeting, and remembering which of those was most important requires brainpower....
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Are you sure you hired the right developer?

Posted by Bill Harding at 10:31am on January 17, 2019
Here’s how you’ll know. Hiring the right developer is a time-consuming process that can drain productive hours from your week. Recruitment takes time. Mistakes can be costly. And your competition is out there, wooing the very same software engineers. After agonizing over your decision and bringing a new developer on board, how do you know if you've made the right choice? Measuring developer performance – old school style For those of us without a crystal ball or the ability to travel into the future, we’ve had to rely on a hodgepodge of questions to quantify the performance of a new...
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Fix your Engineering Manager timesinks

Posted by Bill Harding at 4:06pm on July 10, 2018
If you manage engineers and you're too busy, you might have a measurement problem As a development manager or CTO, can you answer these questions? How much productive work did my developers accomplish last week? Is the volume of productive code my developers produce rising, falling, or staying flat? Which developers are making the most consistent, impactful contributions? If you aren’t 100% sure about the answers, you’re not alone. Development managers and CTOs often find they have to rely on flawed information to assess and manage developer productivity. Sure, you’d like to have accurate data on your team’s performance, but...
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Measuring the impact of working from home on software engineering productivity

Posted by Bill Harding at 8:35am on April 23, 2018
What's the productivity cost of allowing software engineers to work from home? With recent remote work defections from the likes of IBM, Yahoo, and Github, there seems to be a crisis of confidence among managers that their employees won't function optimally unless they're on the premises. However, among workers at large, Google Trends suggests that interest in the theme has only increased over the last five years: Google Trend result for "work from home" interest over time If we set aside emotions and anecdotes, I suspect most companies are genuinely uncertain what they're giving up when they allow employees the...
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Counting lines of code: the article

Posted by Bill Harding at 11:12am on March 22, 2018
We recently published a "special feature" article by your friendly Founder/CEO Bill Harding, entitled Lines of Code Are Garbage, So Let's Go Dumpster Diving. It details the perils and opportunities wrapped up in trying to count lines of code to measure developer impact.  Stop by and take a look when you have a chance! We'd love to here what you think at support@gitclear.com. We should probably implement comments on blog posts soon.
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Customizing Line Impact to serve your business

Posted by Grace Bradford at 12:43pm on January 24, 2018
Insightful reports based on your team’s performance Monitoring your team’s performance is imperative to the success of your company, but it can be hard to find a “one size fits all” style of reporting that can accurately deem the performance of each programmer on your team. GitClear provides visibility into the sometimes murky world of coding and identifies high-level trends and behavior from the countless commits that go into a project. GitClear simplifies the process of following a task across developers, repos, and organizations, all while minimizing time spent reviewing code. Here are a few of our favorite tools for easy...
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Change the way you review code with these 3 tools

Posted by Grace Bradford at 10:09am on November 9, 2017
Technical review is a part of every software development process. After a developer has finished with a task, it’s standard to have another developer or team lead review the code. This code review can be a long process, depending on the length of the code and the number of changes that were made. Although technical review is an integral part of the coding process, most developers would prefer to spend their time coding. This was one of the main reasons GitClear was created. By reducing the time it takes to review code, GitClear increases time available for developers to...
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Look beyond code churn to minimize technical debt

Posted by Grace Bradford at 9:59am on November 3, 2017
How do you measure developer productivity? This question has troubled developers, team leads, managers, and C-Level executives for decades. Folks have tried everything from counting code to measuring product success, and from analyzing time spent to even using the Fibonacci sequence to forecast project size. In recent years, the popular claim is that code churn is the best metric to pay attention to. At GitClear, we believe these metrics aren’t an ideal way to measure developer productivity. So, you might be asking: if those metrics are flawed, then what should we be measuring? Good question. Let's explore deeper. The flaws...
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