TL;DR 8th Color has been around for almost two years now, and our new tool, PullReview, brings us closer to our goal: helping developers develop themselves. PullReview is an Automated Code Review Tool for Ruby developers using GitHub, and it’s in full preparation.
Introduction: The Road Traveled
July 2013. 8th Color has been in business for close to two years now - and so has our blog. And as our development focus has shifted, so has this blog’s content. For those who did not notice: we’ve been writing a lot about Code Review, Ruby on Rails, and the need to Grow as a Developer.
As a returning reader – you’re more than 2000 nowadays – shoutout! – you might ask yourself: why all the fatherly advice? What is 8th Color – what is PullReview – all about?
Allow us to elaborate.
You – the Saviour of Digital Gotham
We have watched the importance of what we do as a community – programming – grow as we have matured within that same community.
Code drives both the mundane and the disruptive. We program both algorithms for Angry Birds as we develop models to visualize SARS outbreaks. Though the world of (bio)mechanics is still a large part of society, coding intertwines with it – precedes it – and sometimes even replaces it: to put it stark, every time we slip up down, the world slips up.
While demand for developers as a workforce does not necessarily outstrip supply, the speed at which software development evolves creates a constant tension on the labour market: in general, we should have it easier finding a job than our peers do – wherever in the world.
This combination of impact and relative scarcity is both an opportunity and a responsibility: as we’re hard to find – and as our projects can have significant impact – we have the implicit duty to be the best we can be. In the words of Uncle Ben: “With great power… comes great responsibility”
8th Color – The Batcave
This is where 8th Color comes in. You – developer – You’re Bruce Wayne. You’re ready. You have the skills and the intention to save the good people of Gotham. But you need more to become “the Batman”. You need your gear… 8th Color is your Lucius Fox. We want to provide the equipment that turns you into the caped crusader.
In decent English: we want to develop the tools to make your coding better and to help you improve as a coder.
Introducing the Batmobile: PullReview
PullReview is a Code Review tool for Ruby developers using GitHub.
Why Code Review? You might have noticed in previous posts: we are convinced – and we’re not alone – that code review is indispensable. It improves your code and it educates you as a programmer. It enables you to – consistently – be the best you can be, project delivery after project delivery.
Just like the Batmobile is not just a car, PullReview his not just a tool. In short, PullReview automatically reviews your code and tells you where to go next to make it – and you – better.
An Automated Tool
PullReview is “SAAS” solution: no servers to install, no extra software. In other words, no need to keep you away of what you do best: coding. Click the button, link to GitHub, and PullReview can start reviewing your branches.
Second of all, PullReview is ready when you are: your flow is leading. Your feedback is ready at the click of a button, without having to sit and wait for a colleague to come and have look.
Telling You Where to Go Next
Most importantly, it does not keep to static analysis. PullReview aggregates several analysis results, and points you to the problems at hand – in order of impact: it tells you what to do to make your code better – and why it is wrong in the first place.
We’ve repeated it a million times: not only does PullReview make your coding more robust, it improves you as a coder. It tells you why best practices are what they are – and where to apply them. Moreover, as you are getting stronger every review, in your own flow, you free up time to discuss the real Gordian knots in the work at hand.
That’s where you take the leap from Bruce Wayne to the Dark Knight. That’s what PullReview is about, that’s what 8th Color is about.
Keeping up to Date
At the moment, PullReview is in Alpha test. For those who can’t wait, we’ll provide some preview and tell you more about the functionalities in one of our next posts.
Can’t wait to help the good people of Gotham? apply as an Alpha user, and start banging away at the software!
Be well, and spread those wings!