Helping the Future Get Here Sooner: our investment in Sourcegraph

We are pleased to announce our investment in Sourcegraph, a company focused on improving the software development process through code intelligence.  What is code intelligence?  We’ll get to that in a minute, but we are betting it is a key to unlocking a step function in developer productivity.

As all companies become software companies, programmer productivity becomes mission critical for driving economic growth. Unfortunately, even with code reuse through open source software, and the emergence of powerful collaborative development repositories like Github, the core software development process remains antiquated and is increasingly a bottleneck to innovation.  Each project is a bespoke effort that is largely crafted from scratch by hand.  The concept of collaborating on code itself is a cumbersome process as team members lack context of code and it is difficult to share knowledge from one project to another. One might hope that just throwing more developers at problems would help (if you can find them), but with today’s interconnected code bases, this doesn’t yield the efficiencies we need to see.  Bottom line is we need to think differently about how software is created if we hope to realize the full potential of the digital economy.

This is where Sourcegraph’s code intelligence comes into play.  Sourcegraph’s platform analyzes your code and develops a semantic understanding of what is written.  Through this understanding, it can make code searchable across all your software by all members of your team. It allows developers to see, in real time, usage examples of how software components work,facilitates conversations and code review by linking directly to code, and allows developers to see who and what will be impacted by changes to code used in multiple places throughout the organization.  No longer is code a bunch of text, but built from intelligent components with context and metadata that can be shared throughout software teams.  Through this code intelligence, Sourcegraph hopes to dramatically improve the software development process and eventually deliver on the promise of changing how software is built (more to come in the future on this last point).

Every investment for us begins with the team and Sourcegraph’s founders, Quinn Slack and Beyang Liu are exceptional.  They have built a great team and impressed us with their ability to tackle the immense technical challenges of scaling code intelligence.  We can’t wait to see where they go from here.  Sourcegraph is on a mission to change software development – it is a big audacious goal, but one that could help the future get here sooner.