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Fuzz Stati0n Pivots

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By David Moore
Founder / CEO, Fuzz Stati0n
Special to Santa Cruz Tech Beat

January 3, 2018 – Santa Cruz, CA

“After launch there was very little traction. I had made the classic mistake of not making something people want. So back to the drawing board: time to pivot.”

Do you drive a car or use a smart phone? If so, every day you run a vast amount of software – over 100 million lines of code. We live in a software dominated world and with the growth of AI, self driving vehicles and IoT (Internet of Things) skyrocketing, a massive amount of software will need to be developed.

That software will also have to be thoroughly tested for programming errors but writing software tests is tedious, time consuming and error prone. Developers spend 30% of their time writing tests and 25% fixing bugs those tests missed.

I believe that in the future machines will write most software tests – what I call Automated Test Generation – and I founded Fuzz Stati0n to create and drive that future.

I started the company in 2016 – our initial product found bugs only in C and C++ applications. After launch there was very little traction – I had made the classic mistake of not making something people want. So back to the drawing board: time to pivot.

Back to the drawing board

With great support and advice from Santa Cruz Accelerates (Fuzz Stati0n has just graduated from the first accelerator cohort), I explored and market tested several ideas and decided to reorient the company toward a very exciting and much bigger, growing market: server-side JavaScript applications.

Our new product finds critical bugs in JavaScript applications written for the Node JS platform. Node JS enables developers to write web servers and other backend applications in JavaScript (Javascript was originally just for web browsers.)

I learned a huge amount during the first product iteration and have made three key adjustments:

  • Market Size: The JavaScript/Node JS market is much larger than the C/C++ market. There are 11 million Node JS developers and that number is doubling every year.
  • Proprietary IP: The original Fuzz Stati0n iteration was based on open source software. I have developed automated test generation technology from scratch including proprietary algorithms designed to trigger specific kinds of bugs.
  • Low Friction Onboarding: Fuzz Stati0n will be offered as a low priced SaaS (software as a service) subscription. It takes only minutes for our customers to install and integrate it into their build and test cycles.

Fuzz Stati0n features and benefits:

  • Finds Uncaught Exceptions and other server crashing bugs missed by unit tests, linters and static analysis tools.
  • Extends the coverage of handwritten unit tests by uncovering more paths through the application.
  • Zero false positives. Every bug found is reproducible and we automatically provide the code to reproduce it.
  • Zero code changes, annotations or configuration required – it just works.

While there is no comparable offering, there is competition – advanced technology always competes against the status quo. Today critical bugs in Node JS applications can crash production servers – these current testing approaches miss those bugs:

  • Handwritten unit tests – It is very hard for humans to think of all the different things that can go wrong with a piece of software – there will never be enough handwritten tests to cover all of the corner cases.
  • Linting and Static Analysis services – JavaScript is a very dynamic language. This means that many important aspects of the program are not determined until runtime and thus source code scanning tools cannot help.

The core of system has been developed and has proven successful at finding critical bugs in major open source projects. We will be running a beta program very shortly and launching in the Spring.

If you are interested in finding mission critical bugs in Node JS applications, please sign up for our newsletter on our website.

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