CodeSee is an aptly named startup, one that is building a set of tools to help developers understand how all the parts of a code base fit together. Today, the company announced a $7 million secondary seed on top of the $3 million it received in 2020. The round was led by new investors Wellington Access Ventures, Plexo Capital and Menlo Ventures along with several industry angels who had participated in the first seed investment.
Company CEO and co-founder Shanea Leven says that her company is solving a problem of understanding the entire code base, something that every developer struggles with, no matter their level of experience, especially when they encounter a new code base.
“There’s always this feeling of dread and anxiety of just how overwhelming this is going to be, and how long is this going to take me before I can actually feel confident that I can make a meaningful contribution to this code base,” she said, adding, “No matter how experienced you are. You hit that moment, and you hit it all the time because the code base is actually changing from under you every day.”
Leven says that the company has continued to grow and develop since we last spoke at the launch of their open source OSS Port project last September, and that they are getting closer to releasing a paid version of the product, which is being tested with companies now.
“We are getting much closer to [completing] a teams and enterprise offering, which is what we are currently working on right now,” she said. They are also working on a new tool called Review Maps, which makes it easier to visualize changes to the code base in GitHub. Instead of an alphabetical list of the changed files, which doesn’t actually help understand how the files changed or how they relate to the whole, they get a map of the changes.
“So when you go to make your meaningful contribution, like you’re going to go write your first pull request, which is your first code change, we can visualize your change in the context of the rest of your codebase.” This becomes even more crucial in large, complex projects where hundreds of changes are being pushed a day.
“This gets really daunting when you see a code review that has 600 files changed…and so what most people do when your code review gets that big is they just don’t review it. But with us you can, since now you can see your changes. You can zoom out to see the bigger picture. You can kind of see what kind of impact overall your change is going to have to the code base. And that is making developers really happy,” she said.
The company currently has 13 employees with plans to add five or six more this year.