Sidekick started out as 'SidekickJS' a couple of years ago - an online static analysis tool for JavaScript. After completing the initial build of SidekickJS, we still weren't satisfied that we had really solved the problem of keeping code clean.
The problems with static analysis
Static analysis tools are great, but they rely upon the diligence of the team to check the results, put aside time to fix issues and then commit to reducing technical debt.
Time is precious
These days, all development teams seem to be rushing to get the next feature out and so payback of technical debt takes a back seat.
You need to pay back technical debt
In the long run, building up technical debt will kill a project - the codebase will rot and the developers will move on.
Making things as easy as possible
We wanted a way to make sure that technical debt was identified as early as possible so that the developer could address it before it was committed. We decided that to meet these goals, the solution would have to be brought forward as far as possible in the coding timeline.
Sidekick reborn
We re-focused our static analysis tool from an online service to be an installed application, so that it could sit on the developer machine.