CodeSee helps builders visualize and perceive complicated codebases


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As a software program firm grows, so does its codebase, which can rely contributions from dozens or tons of of particular person builders — a few of whom not work on the firm. Understanding the workings throughout an enormous codebase may be difficult, notably for builders becoming a member of an organization, which is the place CodeSee is available in.

Founded out of San Francisco in 2019, CodeSee permits builders to combine their GitHub repositories and mechanically generate “maps” to visualise a whole codebase, higher perceive how every thing suits collectively, and see how a proposed change will impression the broader codebase.

Users can place labels and notes in a CodeSee map, which stay as builders come and go and information and folders change over time. A “tours” function permits visible walkthroughs of a chunk of code. Moreover, these maps mechanically replace when each pull request is merged, and they’re language-agnostic, with help for dependencies throughout Java, JavaScript, Go, and Python.

Above: CodeSee maps

The CodeSee platform launched initially in non-public beta again in July, however as of this week it’s out there as a part of a public beta program. To attain extra builders world wide, the corporate additionally introduced it has raised $3 million in a seed spherical of funding co-led by Boldstart Ventures and Uncork Capital, with participation from Salesforce Ventures, Precursor Ventures, and a slew of angel buyers.

The open supply issue

While CodeSee maps stay in beta for now, the corporate additionally introduced a brand new open supply neighborhood referred to as OSS Port, which is designed to assist builders take part in open supply tasks. OSS Port ties into CodeSee’s mission, as open supply software program tasks are inherently collaborative and it may be tough to navigate them when hundreds of individuals from world wide try to construct and keep a single codebase.

The new community-focused product connects open supply tasks with individuals, utilizing CodeSee Maps to assist onboard and retain contributors. Maintainers can listing their tasks on OSS Port and tag them with particular subjects, reminiscent of “social good,” permitting potential contributors to seek out open supply tasks which might be related to their pursuits.

Above: CodeSee: OSS Port

CodeSee’s platform goals to repair an issue that impacts builders and firms of all sizes, though it arguably turns into extra helpful the bigger an organization is and the extra in depth its codebase is.

“Understanding large, complex codebases is a quintessential problem for developers — no matter the context of the codebase,” CodeSee cofounder and CEO Shanea Leven informed VentureBeat. “So whether your codebase is at a 20-year-old company or a two-year-old startup, maintaining an open source project with thousands of participants — it’s the same problem. They need to understand how the code works so they can modify it without breaking it.”

Above: CodeSee cofounder and CEO Shanea Leven

Leven mentioned maps will all the time be free for the open supply neighborhood as a part of OSS Port, however the final plan is to create a business enterprise out of CodeSee maps, utilizing suggestions from the open beta program. What that business providing will appear to be stays to be seen.

“We’re drawing from the valuable user experiences and feedback of our current beta cohort to define what will one day be a maps enterprise offering,” Leven mentioned. “Our goal is to develop and eventually release an enterprise offering that meets the unique interests and needs of larger organizations, with features capable of enterprise breadth and scale.”

It’s value noting that different firms are getting down to clear up comparable issues. Earlier this yr, VentureBeat lined an organization referred to as Swimm, which helps developers share knowledge and understand each other’s code, and there are clear parallels right here — however this solely highlights builders’ rising want to repair the codebase complexity drawback.

“There are a few startups focused on helping developers understand codebases, but there is no objective market leader — yet,” Leven mentioned. “It’s a big issue with a lot of potential solutions. I often think of it like we’re in a pie-generating space, not a pie-dividing one.”


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