One of the questions I often get asked when demonstrating how CodeStream makes it easy to discuss code is
How is CodeStream different than PRs?
Given how often this gets asked of me in person I assume many people visiting us online may be thinking similarly so I figured I’d document my response.
We founded CodeStream because despite having worked in the communications space for over two decades, connecting and enabling conversation for millions of customers, and witnessing and participating in a wide array of innovations for personal and business communication, it was our observation that there was one audience in particular that had been left underserved: software developers. So we set out to fix that.
Why discussions about your code must live with your code
The established process for software development in a team setting is a variation on this:
Get together in the beginning of the week and lay out the sprint.
Get your work done without becoming an annoyance to your team members.
Get together at the end of the week after you commit your code and hope it’s good enough.
The work gets done. Rinse. Repeat.
So we posit a hypothesis: Developers don’t ask enough questions and don’t communicate nearly enough about code. As a result, they don’t consult early enough with their team members and commit sub-optimal code.
Why You Should Do Something About Tech Debt
Every growing codebase in every industry is accumulating technical debt. The consequences of excessive technical debt are low productivity, high rate of errors, delays in delivering updates, higher costs, overburdened developers and less happy customers.
Since technical debt is inevitable, like death and taxes, the question is how to best manage its accumulation and reduction, and how to keep it at tolerable levels that will not result in bad business outcomes.
We started CodeStream because after years of working on news feeds and chat collaboration solutions, we realized that we were not applying what we knew about real-time collaboration to our own development processes. The team at CodeStream has been together for a couple of decades. We created a social network called Multiply, and a team chat solution called Glip. One day last year, as we were discussing code, it hit us that the available solutions, even our own previous efforts, were just not doing it for development teams. This post is about how to make team chat a lot better for hackers.