If coders want to demonstrate their prowess, they can share code on GitHub, answer programming questions on sites like Stack Overflow and Quora, or just blog their thoughts and advice. What’s missing, however, is a site that aggregates all this activity — at least according to Coderwall, which is part of the current batch of startups incubated at Y Combinator.
Naturally, Coderwall wants to be that site, functioning essentially as the online reputation system for developers. Even though it’s officially launching today, the site has been live since last summer. It’s growing at about 20 percent each month, with sign ups coming in entirely from Twitter, and there are now 13,000 individual profiles. Founder Matt Deiters tells me he’s already seeing job postings that specifically ask applicants to send their Coderwall profile.
When you sign-up, you connect Coderwall to your accounts on sites like GitHub, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Based on those profiles, Coderwall determines what technical skills you have, and awards badges, which it calls Achievements, based on those skills. For example, Joe Hewitt (who’s best known for building Facebook’s iPhone app) has a profile that includes Achievements like Altruist (for having shared at least 20 open source projects) and Honey Badger 3 (for having at least three Node.js-specific repositories). Users can also endorse other users’ skills in specific areas.
Deiters says Coderwall recently integrated Lanyrd, so that it can include conference attendance and speaking, and that there are also plans to add CodePlex, Bitbucket, and Stack Overflow integration.
“This is just the beginning to helping developers tell their professional story,” he says.
Individual users can also band together into teams, which are then ranked on the Coderwall leaderboard. The ranking is determined by each team member’s Achievements and peer endorsements, and then adjusted to the team’s central tendency — Dieter says he wanted to make sure that smaller teams had a chance to compete against larger ones. GitHub currently tops the leaderboard, followed by Nodejitsu and Twitter.
“Naturally, since people working at a company spend a lot of time together, most of the teams formulated along company lines,” Deiters says.
Coderwall’s business model will be tied to recruiting. In fact, the company says that it wants to eventually expand its user base beyond developers.