PullRequest is a startup with a twist on the on-demand economy. It wants to be your company code checker. It takes care of finding code review experts, who can check for bugs, security issues, coding standards and performance problems.
“We offer code review as a service. As developers push code, we have on-demand experts that review it [before it gets published]. This allows them to move forward without resources constraining the operation,” company founder Lyal Avery told TechCrunch.
Avery says that industry estimates peg code review taking between 20 and 50 percent of a programmer’s time. The idea behind code reviewing as of service is to allow programmers on your team to stay focused on programming tasks, and leave the reviews to PullRequest.
Customers come to the PullRequest web site and provide the details of what they are looking for in their reviewers. PullRequest vets all the reviewers to be sure they have the appropriate expertise and finds a match.
The problem Avery is trying to solve became apparent to him at his previous startups, where he watched developers spending an inordinate amount of time on code review. When you consider how difficult it is to find programming talent for your startup, he says this seemed like a poor use of developer resources. The flip side of that was code being pushed live without an appropriate review. Both of those situations felt wrong to Avery and the idea of a code review service began to take shape.
As far as paying the reviewers, Avery says they have been experimenting with a number of compensation scenarios including per project and per hour pricing. As for how they bill the companies using the service, that too is a work in progress he says, but they are trying to find ways that appeal to both small customers with a few programmers and larger public company customers with bigger staffs.
The company is also looking at having the same reviewers work with the same company and same group of developers, so they become like an extension of the programming team. This would allow them to get to know and understand the code, as well as build a rapport with the developers on the team.
He says that the company launched in May and is participating in the Y Combinator Summer ’17 class. It already has 200 reviewers available on the platform. 300 companies, large and small, have expressed interest in the service, so far. It’s working with about a dozen of them for starters.