Constructor is a new, user-friendly task tracking and collaboration tool designed specifically for software development teams.
The solution offers features for developers such as assignable comment treats, dashboard card highlighting, hideable backlogs, and project checklists, which they can use to collaborate on software projects remotely, the company told VentureBeat in an exclusive interview.
Additionally, the company also reported to VentureBeat that it has raised $1 million in pre-seed funding.
Constructor cofounder and CEO Seth Purcell explained, “The way software teams work has changed massively over the past decade, as teams have become more distributed, chosen lighter processes, and adopted new practices and new tools like GitHub, Slack, and Figma. Tracking tools haven’t kept up because what’s required isn’t new features; it’s a complete rethink.”
Constructor was built from the ground up to fit the way modern teams are building software, Purcell said. Constructor designed its offering to support asynchronous discussions and provides features like checklists to increase transparency over the status of active projects.
Rethinking project management
Constructor has the potential to be a disruptive influence in the project management space, where existing tools like Jira and Trello have failed to strike a balance between ease of use and collaborative features, needed to meet the needs of remote software development teams amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Possibly our most valuable feature right now is our novel approach to comments,” Purcell began. “Comments feel like an afterthought in Trello and Jira and similar tools. As a result, most teams have gotten used to collaborating in Slack.”
While Slack emerged as a popular collaboration choice for remote teams to empower employees to work from home at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, software development teams have found it poorly optimized to manage projects.
“It’s very, very easy for questions or small requests to be missed in Slack, because we’re all doing too many things at once, but with Constructor, a request as a thread won’t be missed,” Purcell said. “Comments feel as lightweight as Slack, only you don’t need to provide context since it’s clear what ticket you’re talking about, and crucially, they don’t get lost in the shuffle.”
From a user’s perspective, Constructor’s minimalist design and transparency around the project management process are what sets it apart. It’s not a generic communication channel like Slack, and it doesn’t have a large and unwieldy GUI like Jira.
Instead, Constructor embraces a back-to-basics design, with a simple board view that sorts tickets into customizable stages, so users can view tickets that are classified as to-do, in progress, and released.
When in the board view, the user can click on a project drill-down and view a description of its progress, alongside any comments left by coworkers. Users can also create new tickets and tag other users to assign projects to them. The user can then click on the “Highlight my tickets” button to highlight their assigned tickets.
Ultimately, Constructor’s approach builds on the experience offered by tools like Jira while eliminating unnecessary clutter and embracing a minimalist design that enables users to easily create and assign new projects to their coworkers and bring new products to market.
“Software is rapidly expanding into every corner of the economy, and the core tools that software teams depend on are rapidly evolving. It’s baffling that these teams must choose between a lightweight but generic solution or overbuilt legacy products,” explained Rob Go, cofounder, and partner at NextView, one of the company’s investors.
Constructor has the chance to create a new backbone for software product teams, and eclipse legacy solutions in a way that companies like Notion, Figma, or Gitlab also did, Go said.
A new backbone for software development teams
Now, as the pandemic continues over the long term, IT decision-makers must look to reliable, user-friendly but feature-rich project management tools like Constructor to ensure that software development teams can work optimally without being restricted by the limitations of consumer apps and emails.
Constructor’s investors include the likes of Flybridge, Nextview, Soma, Capital, and angel investors including Michael Baker, cofounder and former CEO of DataXu.