DiffBlue is an artificial intelligence startup using AI to write code across several use cases to automate common programming tasks. Their leading product right now is a test generation tool that automatically develops test cases and runs them for software as it is being developed. It not only determines if code is bug free on its own but also suggests ways to increase program efficiency. Within the next year they will have a SaaS offering of this tool in addition to the existing on premise solution. This frees up developer time while also eliminating the need for dedicated QA test engineers. The firm also offers products for automatic code refactoring (restructuring code without changing any external behavior) and security vulnerability identification.
The team is currently ~50 members with plans to grow to 150 within the next year. It was started at the University of Oxford by founder and current CEO, Dr. Daniel Kroening who is a professor of computer science.
Why I like Them
I like that DiffBlue has an immediate, commercial value to companies that can be measured in dollars today. There is a lot of hype about artificial intelligence so it is nice to see a product hitting the market with a real commercial application. Many AI companies today sound cool in theory but offer vague solutions with no direct measurable value.
I also like that their technology is a novel application of AI that had previously only been played with in the lab. It is a great example of AI increasing productivity and efficiency, especially of a job that no one enjoys in software. Although it varies, developers spend a quarter of their time on average writing test cases and debugging their code. Not to mention the meta nature of software reading and testing software is cool to think about.
Their core product of test generation software also seems like a product that sells itself with extremely strong delight from developers. Developers in general hate to debug and deal with test cases of their own code as it is somewhat akin to explaining in detail why you got questions wrong on an exam.
Disclosure: I have spoken to Founder and CEO Daniel Kroening.