We had the honor of demoing our new and free AppMap for VSCode open source product at the New York Enterprise Technology Meetup yesterday. Our Co-Founder and CEO Elizabeth Lawler shared how our runtime code analysis technology helps developers see, understand and improve the design of software they create and work with – no matter how large or complex that software may be.
In addition to demoing AppMap for VSCode, Elizabeth shared how AppMap server, constantly learns. A hosted platform that collects, aggregates and analyzes AppMaps to get even deeper insights into code’s architecture, AppMap records a history of how software design has evolved across releases by looking back and following the code forward in time.
As Elizabeth explained to the attendees, with AppMap development teams now have three chances to catch changes that could cause problems down the road:
- In local dev environments, with diagrams and tools that make issues prominent
- During code reviews, by sharing and reviewing AppMaps as part of the pull request review process
- In CI/CDs, where risky, unapproved or unexpected changes can be configured to break the build
The end result is a better understanding of software design, smooth and powerful collaboration, and intelligent tooling that helps developers improve quality while delivering faster – which in turn leads to happy customers and more revenue for the business.
Following our demo, Jonathan Lehr, General Partner at Work-Bench held a “fireside chat” with Jeff Lawson, Co-Founder and CEO of Twilio. Jeff shared some fascinating insights from his new book, “Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century,” including:
- Always “wear your customers’ shoes” and build mechanisms into your company to be fully customer-centric and not get distracted by organizational dynamics.
- Protecting developers from the distraction of customers isn’t a good idea. Rather than handing developers specs or solutions to build, share the business and customer problems and ask how they can provide technical solutions.
- Recreate (or maintain) startup conditions. Twilio operates with small, customer-focused teams that are autonomous. Each team functions like a startup and is defined by its customer, mission and metric. This can lead to some duplication of work, but the empowerment and intrinsic motivation it cultivates is invaluable.
- Having deep insight into the problem is more important than focusing solely on the solution (i.e. your product).
- Follow a developer-first approach, but not a developer-only approach.
Jeff ended his chat by saying, “It’s never been easier to write software. But it’s never been harder to operate software at internet scale. This is what’s fueling the next generation of developer-focused companies.” We couldn’t agree more. This is why we count on the AppMap open source community to help drive our roadmap and build tools that empower developers to deliver new features and functionality faster, without sacrificing security or quality.
To view a recording of the New York Enterprise Technology Meetup, click here. AppMap is free, open source and available now for Ruby, Java and Python. Check it out in the VSCode Marketplace today. AppMap the central service is in Beta and access is available upon request.