Coming off of a $1.3M funding round in 2018, the Raleigh-based software company Allstacks is looking to make an impact at the CED Tech Conference next Monday and Tuesday (Feb 25-26) at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Since it was founded in 2016, Allstacks has grown from a company of two Co-Founders, CEO Hersh Tapadia and Chief Technical Officer Jeremy Freeman, to a team of 12 employees—nine in the U.S. and three abroad.
Its main product is an analytics tool for software developers that improves productivity by showing employees and managers where the biggest problems arise in the process of developing and releasing their software.
Tapadia said Allstacks’ product is important because, unlike most departments of a company, engineering is not usually as metrics-driven.
“Allstacks helps bring that level of accountability and visibility down to engineering,” said Tapadia, “but it does it without being that kind of blunt hammer that beats down on individual developers.”
Instead of tracking any one developer’s productivity, Allstacks tracks team members’ consistency.
“It doesn’t really matter what anyone’s performance is on an arbitrary level,” Tapadia said. “What matters is, ‘Can their performance be planned around?’ and ‘Are they internally consistent?’”
Allstacks measures this consistency by connecting to any tool its customers use to develop and release software such as GitHub, Slack or Trello. This data is collected in the background and uploaded to the cloud without disturbing a developer’s workflow or causing them to change the way they work.
An organization can face countless problems in the development process, but Allstacks focuses only on those that threaten a timely delivery of the product. This could be something like when a feature of the software fails a quality check and goes backwards in the production process, if there’s been a lot of back and forth discussion on a feature, or if a team member is seen struggling to finish part of a feature.
Usually, the problems—once determined—are relatively simple for a manager to solve by clarifying something, redirecting the team’s focus or having a conversation with a team member. The point is that they are identified and solved quickly before they snowball into something greater.
The software can be used to hold managers accountable as well. If upper-level management changes the development team’s focus by giving them an extra feature to add to a product, if the product is then finished later than expected, developers can point to specific metrics that show how the addition affected workflow.
“It’s accountability and advocacy both ways, up and down,” Tapadia said.
Allstacks has grown substantially since its inception. It received a $50,000 NCIDEA grant in 2016 and graduated from the competitive Techstars accelerator program in Austin in 2018.
Although their current product has been successful, at first the Allstacks team had a different vision.
Tapadia said that Allstacks was originally conceived as a solution to the slow process that companies face when onboarding new employees. But, soon Tapadia realized that the company needed to pivot.
“That pain—although very high—was fleeting,” he said. “It’s a momentary pain, it comes and it goes, and when it goes you no longer need the solution anymore.”
In 2019, Allstacks’ product is being utilized by 20 companies of various sizes, including a division of the international agrochemical and seed company, Syngenta.
Now that Allstacks has a full team, the company is looking to expand sales in the coming year. But, no matter what happens, Tapadia said he is having a great time building the company.
“I get to work with really great people on really interesting, challenging problems,” Tapadia said. “I think my favorite part about it all is that ultimately they’re all human-centered problems.”