Latest Docker News
Nov 22, 2021
Marc Andreeson famously stated in a Wall Street Journal interview in 2011 that “software is eating the world.” And it still is. The global application development software market size was valued at $131.4 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow 24.3% year-over-year through 2028, according to Grand View Research. Some applications may require millions of lines of code written by thousands of developers over time. Yet few developers have a complete understanding of how their entire codebase is interconnected because the tool to simplify that process didn’t exist - until now. CodeSee Founder and CEO Shanea Leven CodeSee Shanea Leven set out to change that with CodeSee , an application that automates the process of analyzing the data flowing through a software developer’s system to maintain an updated map of system architecture, its components and the connections between them. Leven is the founder and CEO of CodeSee. According to Leven, “With just one click, CodeSee software creates auto-generated, self-updating code diagrams that sync to your codebase as the code evolves. The code mapping helps developers understand how files and folders are connected and how code changes fit into the larger code architecture.” The idea came about from her own painful experiences as a developer and product manager. Most recently, she was a Senior Director of Products at Docker, which was experiencing challenges as a platform. Her team had worked on a feature for months and two days before launch, they discovered a bug. MORE FOR YOU “Docker, unfortunately at that time, had gone through a lot of developer attrition, so there wasn’t anyone left who understood that part of the code base .There was no documentation either. The only thing that we could do was essentially read the code line by line for that critical part of the code base because it was touching so many things and if we messed it up, we could cause giant catastrophes. The feature didn't get out. All of that work was just poof, gone, and it was devastating. I kind of remember yelling out in desperation, ‘why do we not understand our code?’ That experience wasn't the first or the second or the third time that I had experienced not being able to really have a full grasp on how our code works. It was just the most high profile. It's the one that just hit me the hardest,” says Leven. Leven didn’t want to have to go through that painful experience again and devoted herself to finding a solution, which is how CodeSee came about. She read dozens of research papers and read about how people learn code and how we understand it. “I've found that understanding code hasn't changed in 50 years. It has the same way that we used to do punch cards and IBM machines, read it line by line. It's the exact same thing we do today. What has evolved is we had this inflection point of code running our entire lives,” says Leven. The way that new developers are onboarded, the way that developers learn code and the way that developers are just starting to tackle a new part of the code base, that in and of itself is actually 100 times more complex than it was 10 years ago. “Our code bases are just getting more and more complicated, but we're also at the exact same time pushing more and more responsibilities onto the developer. We're saying you now need to be responsible for not just writing features, you need to be responsible for security by design, you need to be responsible for DevOps, you need to be responsible for accessibility and all of those things, pushing that down onto the developer,” says Leven. She feels that, as an industry, code is treated as a black box. CodeSee is an attempt at breaking open the black box and, by doing so, lower the barriers to entry for new people to write code and build new innovations. “Once the developer has a visualization of how their code works, everyone else can also use that same visualization too. That can be the product person, that can be the marketing person, that can be design because most of those departments in a company are blocked by an engineering bottleneck. We can just open that for everyone is the thing that we're trying to accomplish,” says Leven. Leven worked on the idea as a side project at first. She left Docker and was then hired in January, 2020 as Head of Product Management at Lob, where they gave her the unusual opportunity to continue working on CodeSee. She even entered the idea into two tech accelerators, from which she secured $3 million in seed money led by Boldstart Ventures and Encore Capital. Precursor Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and DCVC also participated. Then in September of 2020, she left Lob to devote herself full-time to CodeSee. The business is just beginning in earnest with the release of their first public beta version last month and now has 2,500 users for the application. Her husband Josh who was helping on the project decided to leave his job as Director of Engineering at NoRedInk and joined the business full-time as CTO. “Things move very quickly here at CodeSee. We've built a team of genuine experts in their fields who are also just as passionate as I am about solving this problem for basically the world. Because of that expertise, we can move very quickly,” says Leven Leven grew up in Baltimore and Virginia Beach. Her parents moved often and then spent her senior year in high school in Delaware. She got married at 18. Earned a business degree from Columbia College, then a degree in computer science from the University of Maryland. She then moved to California, where she was involved in several start-ups. She then got what she thought was the opportunity of a lifetime to work for Google where she worked her way up to Product Manager in her four years there. “I was a lifer, I thought I was going to be at Google forever,” says Leven. But it was not meant to be and the challenges of that work environment led her to leave in 2017. She then worked for three other Silicon Valley companies—eBay, Cloudflare, Docker and Lob before going out on her own to found CodeSee. As intriguing as the idea for CodeSee is to potentially revolutionize software development, Leven has a larger purpose behind the enterprise, which is to open code development to a broader spectrum of society. After experiencing the challenges of being a woman of color in Silicon Valley’s “Bro Culture,” she is working to change that dynamic. “One of the things that I absolutely get to do is build the kind of culture that I've always wanted to have, that I imagined I would be working in. If I couldn't find that at someone else's company, and I've tried really hard, I’ll create my own,” concludes Leven.