Trying to count the lines of code behind the Internet is like trying to count the number of stars in the sky or drops of water in the sea.
Runnable strives to make that vast and growing quantity more manageable and useful to developers.
The startup, which positions itself as the “YouTube of Code,” has raised $2 million to add to its library of crowdsourced code and onboard its wait list of over 150 partners that plan to contribute to the site.
“Runnable is creating a library of reusable code for software developers of all skill levels, allowing them search for and discover new code, run that code right in their browser, and then copy and paste that code directly into their own projects,” chief executive officer and co-founder Yash Kumar told VentureBeat. “There are 200 million searches for code every month and no one centralized place to discover it.”
The basic idea is that developers shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel when the code they need is already out there, nor should they have to dedicate valuable time and energy to searching through manuals, browsing the web, reading long and complicated documentation, or learning new skills that could quickly become obsolete.
Kumar said that there is GitHub, which facilitates collaboration, and Stack Overflow, which takes a Q&A approach to programming, but no resource that focuses on discovery, which is where Runnable steps in. The system creates a virtual machine for a user every time they load a page with code on it.
“We’re seeing a new Industrial Revolution, but this time with software development,” he said. “In the same way that people were using existing car parts on an assembly line, we are reusing the existing parts for software and letting developers plug them into their own projects.”
A recent report said that 85 percent of large companies will have API programs within five years. There are a lot of APIs out there, which also creates a need for developers who can integrate them.
Kumar previously worked as an engineer at Amazon and said the company had a “thicket” of APIs. Every project used hundreds of them, and developers spent hours, days, and weeks understanding what each API did. And this wasn’t just an issue at Amazon but for developers all over the world.
Runnable not only aims to make this process easier but also gives companies a way to promote their APIs to a developer community and perhaps get some recognition and use.
Its library contains code snippets for a range of frameworks, databases, and languages, including Node.js, Ruby-on-Rails, Python PHP, Django, and MySQL, as well as the option to add in your own APIs, libraries, and SDKs.
Runnable launched in beta in early October. Sierra Ventures led this round, with participation from Resolute.VC, Angel Pad, 500 Startups, Hiten Shah (the founder of KISSmetrics), and Isaac Roth, the founder of Makara, which was acquired by RedHat.
The company is based in Palo Alto, Calif.
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