Web & Code

Meet Our Team: Roberto Hernández, Code Review Team Lead

Roberto Hernández, Code Review Team Lead, against a green backdrop.

Roberto Hernández is Envato’s Code Review Team Lead. He has over 20 years of experience in coding, and brings this expertize to our review team to make sure that every code item published on an Envato site meets our quality standards.

We caught up with him to see what he considers best practice for code submissions, advice he would give to new code Authors, and the challenges he faces in his day-to-day role.

It’s the small details that make all the difference to customers.

Roberto Hernández Code Review Team Lead, Envato


Tell us a little bit about your background.

I’m a developer with over 20 years of experience in coding. I have a degree as a Technician, Engineer and a Masters in computational systems. I’ve been lucky enough to work as a Web Developer, a Project Manager, and now as the Team Lead of the Code Reviewers at Envato.

Over the years, I have always been interested in learning how to teach computers to do things. I feel like lot of people are curious about what is inside a computer. They want to understand the physical components: the chips, wires, and all the parts.

I was always more fascinated by how you could instruct the computer to do something when you move the mouse or click a button.

Throughout my (long!) career, I have worked with several languages, frameworks, CMS, Stacks and technology in general like PHP, JS, Python, Java, .NET, and more!

I’ve been involved in building solutions from e-commerces to computer vision projects.

How did you get started with Envato? What was your first interaction with Envato like?

The first time that I heard about Envato was when I was still an student. When I discovered that there was a marketplace for templates (ThemeForest) and scripts (CodeCanyon) my mind was blown!

At that time stuff like that wasn’t common in Mexico. Discovering that I could access solutions ready to deploy as a customer was eye opening. And finding out that there was a global marketplace for Authors to sell on was pretty cool too!

Please describe your role at Envato. What do you do day to day?

In general I start the day reviewing Slack and my inbox for any important requests. Envato is a very global company, so we interact with other teams in a very wide range of time zones. That being said, I like to get back to people as soon as I can.

After that, I split the rest of the day reviewing items in the queue, helping the rest of the team with items that require specific knowledge or a second opinion, assigning tickets to team members, or reporting any security issues.

I have calls with the team to review our priorities, any blockage in their daily tasks and share any important update from our projects.

Are there any common frustrations someone in your role faces?

In general, not being able to learn all the languages and frameworks out there. I also can get frustrated by seeing items with great potential, which just need to pay more attention to small details to increase their overall quality.

As a developer, I understand that dealing with the graphic part (frontend) is usually not the strongest skill for most of us. Building a proper documentation is not the most fun part of building an app, but these “small” details are what makes the difference for all the customers.


What or who inspires you?

Mainly our own Author community! The speed with which they start publishing items following new trends and technology is amazing. I’m continually impressed by how creative our Authors can be when they build and offer very different solutions using the same tools.

Along that we have some channels in Slack where a lot of people at the company share news and information about new tools and trends across all our markets.

The New stack, Product Hunt, SitePoint, the official blogs for Laravel, Svelte and of course TutsPlus are a regular source of inspirations.

code scrolling on screen
Program codes by vectorfusionart

Advice to Authors

What trends in your industry do you think code Authors should keep an eye on?

AI tools is the hottest trend right now, but our Authors should avoid just cloning chat bots. Our Authors need to start thinking how to include the AI functionality into items that belong to the best seller items category.

Authors need to start thinking about how they can include AI functionality into their items.

Roberto Hernández Code Review Team Lead, Envato

What makes a code item great? How would you differentiate between a good code item vs a great code item?

An item that follows best practices of the industry. This should at least include the following:

  • Recommended nomenclature (camel case, snake case, etc)
  • Package managers (Composer, NPM)
  • Meaningful names and folders distribution
  • A great UI / UX
  • Clear documentation that shows not only how to build or deploy the item, but also how to use it.

What are the most common reasons code items are rejected?

The reasons are really broad and it could vary along the categories. In general, the problems with the items are related to a lack of innovation, good documentation and problems with the installation / building process.

There is a very well-known programming joke or meme that explains it all, when people say “It Works On My Machine”. Avoid falling for this excuse!

Check out our guide on how to handle item rejection for more information.

How to Handle Item Rejection

Learn how you can prevent your items from being rejected.

How to handle item rejection

What advice do you have for code Authors who are new to Envato? How can they make sure their items are accepted?

  • Visit the Author Hub blog for inspiration and guidance.
  • Take your time to check our code item requirements.
  • Review the trends and top sellers section on CodeCanyon.
  • Be open to learn.
  • Be aware of the EOL (End Of Life) of the tools in your stack.
  • Don’t be lazy with the error management and the documentation. If you don’t take care of this, you will struggle to manage support after your item hits hundreds of sales.
  • Make use of the forums, ask for opinions of your idea / item.
  • Making a clone of ‘X’ will not always work, try to add a good improvement.
  • If you already spent 3 months building your app, make an effort to create the inline image, description and screenshots that fits the same quality of your item.
  • Think globally, your item will be on sale for a global audience, ask yourself: I’m following the best practices? Will this be logical and easy to use for people around the world?
Our customers have a broad range of skills and experience. They range from programmers to people who aren’t technical at all. Your items need to suit both.

Roberto Hernández Code Review Team Lead, Envato

Give some examples of items or Authors that you love!

The truth is that we see a lot of great items every single month! However, I’ll give a few examples of some fantastic items.

Perfex – Powerful Open Source CRM, by MSTdev

This item is a fantastic one! It was first published in 2015, but because the Author, MSTdev, has kept updating it, it’s still a great item. It’s had over 19k sales too!

Screenshot of Perfex - Powerful Open Source CRM, by MSTdev
Screenshot from Perfex

MailWizz – Email Marketing Application, by twisted1919

This item by twisted1919 is another oldie but a goodie! First published in 2013, this item remains a strong performer with hundreds of five star reviews and nearly 16k sales.

Screenshot of code item: MailWizz - Email Marketing Application, by twisted1919

OpenAI Davinci – AI Writing Assistant and Content Creator as SaaS, by Berkine

Unlike the previous two items, this one by Author Berkine is from 2023. However, it already has almost 2k sales!

Screenshot of code item: OpenAI Davinci - AI Writing Assistant and Content Creator as SaaS, by Berkine

Anything else you want to tell our Web & Code Author community?

First of all, I want to remind everyone that we are all part of the same team.

Authors, Envato staff, and customers are all part of our Envato community. And for us to all succeed, we need to work together. Envato needs to ensure that we’re publishing high quality, relevant, and secure items.

The other thing that I’d tell our Author community is to remember that our customers are a diverse group. This means that they have a broad range of skills and backgrounds.

Some of our customers are highly technical people; they may be developers or programmers themselves. But some of our code customers aren’t technical at all. Be open to improving your items and offering strong support for critical updates when your language / framework or packages reach their end of life.

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