"Business" Posts

StatsD. Build vs. Buy?

By Mark Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments


"Remember that time is money."

A phrase used by Benjamin Franklin in Advice to a young Tradesman, written by an old One. Sage advice - and even after all these years, still relevant!

It's no surprise that we all look for tools that make our jobs easier, deliver value for our customers -- and ultimately save us time.

StatsD is one of those tools.

In a recent conversation with Martin Kelly, we talked about StatsD and how it saved him time.

Here's what he had to say:

"We don’t use StatsD for in-app instrumentation, but for user experience tracking. The client will ask us to measure a discrete element of the user experience, and with a couple lines of Python we can put together a test and start tracking it and graphing it within minutes."

Furthermore, he talked about the importance of dashboards and how visualizing the data helped him:

"In combination with the really quick-to-assemble dashboards in Scout, it allows us to see what system components are potentially affecting user experience, which does two things: lets us narrow down our diagnostic root through trivially easy correlation really quickly, and gives us much more user centered data for our capacity planning."

I asked him about the tools he was using before StatsD:

"We had a lot of Python tools already doing that job, but reworking the entire suite to work with StatsD was trivial. An hour from start to finish."

Summing up:

"Yes, I could probably cook something up similarly with Graphite, Fluentd, Sensu, Statsd and other parts, but the value for us is all that work is done. The cost for the offering over the whole estate is less than the engineering cost to maintain a pieced together solution."

A big THANKS to Martin for sharing his feedback. Internally, we've had the same experience with StatsD: Minimal setup and quick payback.

If you haven't tried StatsD yet, here's a few resources to get you started:

StatsD Intro Video

Docker Event Monitoring from scratch with StatsD

Scout StatsD Rack Gem

Give StatsD a try today! If you have any questions, contact us here, or follow us on Twitter for more StatsD news.


The reward of redundancy: time

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

It’s been a month since I started attaching torture devices disguised as boots to my feet, long wooden sticks to each torture device, and tumbling down mountains. Skiing has changed my outlook on winter. It’s a season to enjoy, not a time where I gaze wistfully out the window, hoping the short, cold days pass by as quickly as possible.

However, there’s a problem when skiing becomes a favorite hobby: not everyday is a great day on the mountain. If it hasn’t snowed in a while, the surface is hard. The temperature might be in the single digits and the wind may be gusting 50 MPH+. It might dump snow in the backcountry, but the avalanche conditions may make it unsafe.

There’s something special about being able to sneak away when the conditions are the best, even if it’s during the work week. It feels a bit like being a kid again (correction: a kid with a receding hairline). It’s a fun reminder that it’s not always bad to feel redundant.


Self-funded = no compromises

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

Naomi Pomeroy, a Food & Wine Best New Chef, on starting an underground, self-funded restaurant:

When major chefs hear about the way I run Beast, they say, ‘You’ve created a chef’s dream restaurant, because you don’t have to compromise,’ ” she told me. “What happens when you do a million-dollar build-out is that you have to be open seven days a week, be really high end, and have a million choices, and that may not work in today’s economy.

Read more in the New Yorker.


Heading to Rocky Mountain Ruby?

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

The Scout gang (including founders and co-dictators-for-life Derek and Andre) will be at Rocky Mountain Ruby Conference in beautiful Boulder, Colorado next week.

If you’re going to be there, let us know. We’d love to take our relationship beyond our support email address (if you’re ready for that).


Giving into reasonableness (acqui-hires)

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development, Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

Last week, Sparrow became the latest poster boy for talent acquisitions (Google gets the team, kills the product). Paying customers complain (I supported it!). Indie devs get depressed as one of their rank sells out.

I disagree with Matt Gemmell that these are a good thing – this is not a feel-good rags-to-riches story. It’s about brilliant developers giving into reasonableness because they didn’t have the runway to be foolish.

Read More →


Tomorrow at Fort Collins New Tech: the story I wish I heard before we started Scout

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

There was a clear turning point for Andre and I with Scout – it happened in October 2009. It led to one of our most popular blog articles, “We Just Undid Three Months of Dev work. Here’s What We Learned.”

I’ll be telling that story at the Fort Collins New Tech Meetup tomorrow evening. If you’re a developer starting a business (or struggling turning a side project into one) drop by. If you’re interested in heckling me, stop by too!


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