Avi and Massi’s story together started at a Hackathon some years back. The hackathon, dedicated to blockchain, laid the groundwork for the two’s first venture together - Clyste. Clyste was a social media platform built entirely on blockchain technology. Its goal was to create a social media governed and owned entirely by its users, allowing no room for external partners altering what users wanted/got out of the platform. After maintaining success at Clyste for a while, Massi’s new venture as the EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence) with NEC Labs thrusted Metabob into fruition with Avi right by his side. The goal during its conception at NEC has remained very much constant throughout the entire ideation process. As Avi puts it, “How do we weed out where code smells?” Meaning, if one can detect and determine where bad code or buggy code is in a codebase earlier and in a more practical manner, then developers can spend less time trying to find the errors and more time writing useful code. This whole idea fueled countless research hours, presentations, and eventual graduation from NEC and their program, resulting in Metabob becoming its own true startup.
Metabob was accepted into the Alchemist Accelerator’s program shortly after their time with NEC. With the Alchemist, Metabob was able to not only leverage their incredible resources and find private investors as well as interested accelerators down the road, but it was also able to provide the company with a big break early on -- becoming one of a handful of selected startups to present at the 2020 Web Summit. While growing the pool of funding and support, Metabob continued to work on its offerings, listening to users and adapting its target audience in tandem.
Using a combination of conventional static code analysis, attention-based models, and a 360-degree Visualizer, Metabob is able to detect where problems are, how they interact with other aspects of your codebase, as well as offer plain-text recommendations on how to fix them. Metabob’s model is written on open source code from python developers across the globe, creating a dynamic, uniquely intuitive base to help identify where problems will likely occur. As of now, Metabob is not a code generation tool. Though, the idea of code generation is something on Avi’s radar. He goes on in the podcast to say “As a code generation tool -- we would take requirements much like how GPT-3 would, but instead of generating all of the code necessary for given parameters, we would find places within a codebase that already have the input codes for those requirements. From there, we could then find how to best structure them so that an individual could arrange all of the call functions to things that have already been defined -- as in they would make reusable components and implement them in other places, allowing for organization in a very logical way.” Debugging is a massive part of the process, but full code automation, though it may make programmers obsolete, is truly the next big breakthrough in the development industry.
You get the sense that Avi’s carefree, casual demeanor is the reason why he’s so good at what he does. In a job that requires that much attention to detail, thorough processing and analysis, one might find themselves stuck stressed out constantly. For Avi, tech is something he genuinely enjoys, as he simply puts it, “I am a guy who likes technology!” Donji, our host, describes Avi as “the person that we go to; basically the human Wikipedia. He knows a little bit about everything and a lot about AI.” Avi definitely wants to “get out of the house,” though he is a big proponent of a mid-afternoon nap. His emphatic curiosity about technology and his explorations of the sorts have landed him a position where he can change the way developers code for decades to come.
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Metabob's Website: https://www.metabob.com
Metabob on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/metabob
Metabob on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Metabob_App