Our DIY Homepage Process

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development Bullet_white Comments Comments

We recently decided it was time for a major update to the public side of Scout. We’d start with a more polished homepage. Since we’re both developers, the obvious next step seemed like hiring a designer. However, working with an outside designer isn’t a hire-and-forget experience:

  • Good designers are difficult to find. Design doesn’t scale like a product business.
  • Good designers are busy. It could take 30-60 days to start work, then another 30 days for it to come together. This means we could be looking at a 90 day timeline. We wanted to launch it faster.

Instead of starting work with a designer on a blank slate, we decided to start firming up what we wanted the homepage to look like. We’d end up with one of the following outcomes:

  • We’re terrible at design, but we’ve at least thought it through. Hire a designer.
  • We can get 80% of the way there, but we’ll need a designer for touchups.
  • If we iterate enough, we can launch something we’ll be happy with.

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Team BFF

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development Bullet_white Comments Comments

Startup Lessions from CCP - EVE Online Style:

Another great example was the formation of “Team Best Friends Forever” (“BFF” is an inside EVE joke). This team is a group of CCP developers whose sole mission is not to work on major features and improvements, but rather to fix all those annoying “little things” that bother their customers. Too many times, product managers and development teams are focused on the big-ticket items – and that’s fine, but TBFF is a great approach that again proves that CCP listens to their customers.
 

Notifcation groups coming Jan 15th

By Andre Bullet_white Posted in Features Bullet_white Comments Comments

On Jan 15th, all Scout accounts will be switched over to notification groups. Notification groups are designed to make notifiation management easier and more flexible:

  • instead of managing notifications per-plugin/per-user, you will assign users to notification groups, and apply notification groups to triggers.
  • you can have multiple PagerDuty integrations and webhook endpoints and assign those to notification groups as well. PagerDuty and webhooks are now first-class notification channels; they are no longer all-or-nothing settings.
  • you get much finer control over threshold-to-notification channel mappings. You can configure (for example) three triggers on one metric, with the lowest trigger sending you email, the middle trigger sending you SMS, and the high trigger alerting PagerDuty.

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The year at Scout - 2012 edition

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

If 2011 was the year of fine-tuning, 2012 was the year of major feature enhancements at Scout. Some stats on what’s been a fun year:

Feature Highlights

  • Realtime Charts – We started the year off with a bang, adding realtime capabilities to Scout’s charts.
  • Pagerduty Integration – We made it easier to feed your alerts into Pagerduty.
  • Rails Application Monitoring – A lightweight approach to finding and tracking app bottlenecks. We soft-launched this (you’ll hear more about it in 2013).
  • Webhooks – Send your alerts to an HTTP endpoint of your choice.
  • Dashboard Enhanncements – Add charts and plugin displays to a dashboard without leaving the page.
  • Javascript Charts – View your charts on iOS devices.
  • A cleaner navigation header – Our navigation header was packed-full of links (and let’s be honest, looked a little stale). No more.

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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.

 

Fort Collins Ruby Meetup - Getting real(time) with Ruby

By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Updates Bullet_white Comments Comments

In the Colorado Front Range area? I’ll be talking about the realtime web at the Fort Collins Ruby Meetup this Wednesday.

I’ll show how adding realtime functionality is the easy: in less than 30 minutes, we’ll build a Sinatra app that uses Pusher for realtime functionality.

UPDATED

See the demo Sinatra app, a Ruby Meetup Realtime Heckle Board on Github.

 

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