Why use Understand? (Dinner Party edition)


A long, and growing, list of dinner party conversation reasons Ken gives for why customers use Understand.


What we do, and probably what you do, is difficult to explain to laypeople. “Static analysis backed visualization helping developers better maintain legacy code and make it less likely to add errors when they make changes” glazes eyes over quickly.

Here is how I explain what we do when asked at dinner parties or other non-technical social gatherings:

  1. Imagine a pile of spaghetti and you have to pull one noodle but make sure the other noodles don’t change. We tell what happens when you pull on a noodle.
  2. Our customers lose hundreds of millions to billions of dollars from software errors – we help their software developers make less mistakes. Our tool is pricey but over time, it pays for itself a zillion times over.
  3. A lot of our customers use our tools to talk their bosses out of bad ideas.
  4. We are like Grammarly, which does grammar and spell checking while you write, only we do it for source code as programmers change existing code.
  5. We analyze source code, automatically, for hours trying to find bugs before they ship in your house’s thermostat, fly with you on your next airplane trip, drive with you on your commute or cause a satellite to fly into the sun.
  6. Imagine a dense thick scientific book with no chapters, page numbers, index or table of contents. We organize code “books” with code equivalents of chapters, pages, indexes and tables of contents.
  7. We help programmers understand what other programmers wrote.