For software companies, the velocity of the business is directly correlated to the velocity of the developers, making developers one of, if not the most, valuable asset on the balance sheet. In our software-led world, it’s imperative that every forward-looking business leader prioritize processes and tooling that improves the productivity of their developers.
Years ago I had the privilege of seeing how GitHub transformed the world of source code management by turning it into a collaborative, social community. The follow-on effects of that laid the foundation for many essential behaviors and asynchronous workflows we use today. They unlocked a massive wave of productivity for developers.
However, GitHub and related tools only solve part of the productivity problem. Today’s developer workflows still require a large amount of asynchronous, local work before code is pushed on to the main branch. Unfortunately, much of that local workflow remains inefficient and redundant as a result of either async conflicts or new failures due to the macro trend of shift-left strategy (think Secops, infra-as-code, cost savings, etc). As a former developer myself, it’s incredibly tedious and frustrating to waste time rerunning pull requests due to merge failures and broken builds on local workflows.
We believe the modern dev productivity stack should include a combination of “top-down,” GitHub-style, global collaboration framework combined with efficient, “bottom-up,” local-workflow tooling. It should give continuous feedback to developers, eliminating several tiny and redundant workflows. It should help developers eliminate context switching and preserve their flow time, thereby unlocking the next wave of developer productivity.
As we began searching for this kind of local workflow tooling, we met David and Eli, co-founders of Trunk.io, who previously built similar tooling at Uber. In previous jobs they experienced the painful failures of the developer workflow and set out to rebuild systems from scratch, creating an all-in-one solution for scalably checking, testing, merging, and monitoring code. Their ultimate goal is to empower engineers to stay focused on shipping code faster. We were immediately drawn to their vision, which deeply resonates with our developer productivity thesis.
David and Eli have also assembled an exemplary team to tackle this problem, attracting some of the greatest engineering talent from high-growth tech companies. At a16z, we love to back deeply technical founders building generational products that will improve the lives of millions of developers worldwide and are thrilled to join Trunk on their journey.
Every engineering leader who wants to unblock developers to improve their productivity should look at Trunk’s upcoming suite of tools.
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