How a Hackathon Led to 80% Fewer Rollbar Items

May 26th, 2020 • By Renáta Tamási-Irsai

Earlier this year, we were invited to Thredup’s wonderful office space in Oakland to be one of the presenters at their quarterly Hackathon. Thredup, a fashion retail marketplace with over 35,000 brands, has been one of our key customers since 2013.

We soon realized this wasn’t a normal Hackathon. This hackathon was dedicated to instrumentation and monitoring. Instead of asking the teams to work on new features or ideas that can be delivered in two days, they challenged the participants to learn how to monitor their application and the advance use cases for different tools, such as Rollbar, Pagerduty, and Datadog.

Getting the Most Value from Rollbar

The first day was focused on learning sessions. And the next two days were for instrumenting, triaging, and get more acquainted with the different metrics for the applications.

As part of our Customer Success Program, we offer product training sessions for our customers. And our Solutions Engineer, Ivan, led one of their morning learning session as a training session for Rollbar. The goal of the training was to give a broader view of Rollbar making sure that it was useful for a wide spectrum of audience - from anyone who had just started to use Rollbar to those who have been using it for a long time. We touched on a wide array of topics and went over many product features.

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We talked about reducing noise by actively managing your Rollbar items using our custom grouping features and setting up the workflow that suits your team or company. The various benefits of integrations with different tools, various notifications settings, and of using Rollbar in different environments. We also demonstrated that you can get to Rollbar Zero, which is to have zero unacknowledged (or unassigned) Rollbar items at any given time. Once this ambitious goal is achieved, it boosts coding performance and helps to clarify workflows for the teams.

We had a very active audience asking many questions during and after the session. For me, as a Customer Success Manager who works every day to make sure our customers get the most value out of Rollbar, it was great to experience the ‘aha’ moments of developers whenever we presented a new feature or a new use case.

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Getting to Rollbar Zero, Almost

There are two sides to the coin here. Presenting tips and tricks is just one side, the other side is to put it in practice.

Patrick Storm, an Engineering Manager at Threadup told us - “We had several teams tackling Rollbar related tasks. There were a few attempts to reach Rollbar Zero. One of our teams reduced their number of active items by 80%, and other teams had similar results. One team created a workflow where a ticket is created in JIRA for every new Rollbar item, and then the person on Rollbar duty for that day assigns it to the right person. We are all quite happy with the result!“

We Would Love to Hear From You

We work closely with our customers to ensure they know how Rollbar works and what best practices are, so they instantly know when errors occur and how to fix them.

If you would like to have a Product Training Session or are organizing similar Hackathons that you would like us to be part of, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out to the customer success team at customercare@rollbar.com and tell us about your request.

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