Mariano Focaraccio is the CEO and co-founder of Gitcolony. I met him during the Dublin Web Summit, where he talked about his solution to help people contribute to open source solutions. Gitcolony has a matching system to help pair coders with open source code they can contribute the most to, and a review system that allows for developers to be given great feedback, and a standardized score, for contributing to open source code.
Here are questions I asked him.
1) What’s your vision for Gitcolony?
We want to redefine the code review experience, help open source projects and build a reputation system for developers.
a) Redefine the code review experience both for open source projects and private repositories: we notice the process is broken and developers use meetings and emails to give feedback on code. This is highly inefficient and not effective as information gets lost. Also, because reviewing code is the most boring part of developers’ role, code reviews get done on a rush before the code needs to get pushed to production.
b) Help open source projects by spreading the responsibility of the revision of the quality of the code. Shellshock and Heartbleed happened because nobody ever revised those pieces of code in 27 years!
Nowadays only the small core teams of open source projects need to review the pull requests they receive. With our voting functionality, a broader community can decide which pull requests are of good quality and are ready to be merged.
c) Build a reputation system by evaluating both the quality of the code and the quality of the code reviews. We’ll allow the community to know which developers are good.
2) What are some tangible examples of how this helped build communities/contributions around open source projects? That’s notoriously difficult to do.
We recently launched Gitcolony but we are already helping build stronger and larger communities around both very well known open source projects like Laravel, WordPress and Rails and smaller and completely unknown projects.
Also, several companies are using Gitcolony internally, for their private repositories to level up the quality of their code and ensure they are building scalable, maintainable, reliable, cohesive and efficient.
3) What are your thoughts on open source projects, and how Gitcolony can encourage more participation in the movement?
We never stop surprising ourselves of how software developers collaborate, give feedback and share solutions with the open source community. Think about it… there’s no other area where this kind of selfless sharing happens.
Until now, developers could contribute with open source projects by coding or documenting. With Gitcolony, they can also do code reviews and we are seeing how code reviews is already getting new developers involved and interested in open source projects. Developers who did not use to participate in the community.
Gitcolony is also a good way to spread the word about open source projects.