GitClear: A New Name for a New Chapter

Bill Harding 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 or a madman choosing a company name in 2016 before understanding what the company would go on to become. These imaginary historians are harsh but fair.

Moving forward, the change in name reflects better alignment with what our business does. It also reflects refinement to our business focus. 

Gitprime/clones: Reporting is for managers

When we launched, our goal had been to provide managers with the best insights into what's happening in their team's code. This alines with the purported objectives of our competitors like Gitprime et al. Their approach can generally be described as "collect many [unproven] metrics to illustrate what's happening on the software project. Keep said metrics away from the developers lest they begin to ask tricky questions about how specifically the metrics are derived. Or maybe the developer wants to know why "Commits per day" or "Raw lines of code" should be metrics even considered. Given the non-existent signal quality of a metric like "commits made," (essentially: how many save points has the developer made) and the low explainability of a metric like "tt100" (which files count toward it? Do they all count equally? Does it factor keywords and white space?), it makes sense that businesses would minimize developer access to these "Manager Reports." Developers can go look at the PR tools if feel the need to participate.

The implications of this strategy are that developers are bit players in the evaluation of developer productivity. And Managers are often OK with that tradeoff, since it means less upfront work getting the team on board. But the more valuable developer measurement is, the more often it will get used, and the more of a pressing issue it becomes to let the developers understand the methodologies of these reports that are disparaging them.

If Developer A finds they got a lower raise just because they made fewer commits last month than Developer B, they can and should be angry about that. It's impossible to prove how frequently such a situation happens, but if a measurement company provides "Commits made" as a metric, they're implying it contains signal, and thus can be used to make decisions. We think that line of reasoning is rubbish, but we understand why it might be used by some managers, since their tooling leads them toward that conclusion.

GitClear: Welcomes Developers to the party. Managers can attend if they behave.

What if it were possible to let developers in on this party? What if, beyond just "letting them in," we let them actually set the roadmap, and some of the ground rules? Consider: unlike Gitprime and the clones, the CEO of GitClear remains an active contributor in code. And he enjoys coding more than most CEO responsibilities. The breakthroughs that get us most excited are stuff like the Commit Browser and file browser, both of which offer more value to Developers than to Managers. This is by design.

Our new name reflects our newfound purpose to build a tool that makes Git clearer to all parties: to project managers, C-level executives, lead developers, and especially, the developers themselves.

The most exciting part of a company

Paul Graham recently tweeted:

In just the last quarter, GitClear has quadrupled its paying customer count and is in active discussions with multiple enterprise partners. We've launched the first (only?) tool that can take real data to identify tech debt in a real-time browser (!). GitClear seems to have reached that joyful second phase alluded to by Paul, and we're having a fantastic time riding the wave to see where it leads us. 

As for you.... If you've found your way to this post, you may qualify among the small "initial users/audience" that knows GitClear is working. We absolutely won't forget the early customers who took a bet on us and got us to the point where we can now offer so many best-of-kind features and insights. We want to continue to hear your feedback. Thank you so much for helping guide us to build the most reliable tool making git clear to every audience.


Bill Harding

CEO/Programmer, GitClear

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.


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