Coupled with the growth of 99designs’ marketplace was the growth of their engineering team and the number of projects they managed. However, each team within engineering had their own way of troubleshooting bugs which was making it very difficult to work cross-functionally and creating many inefficiencies in the process.
All of 99designs’ engineering team now uses Bugsnag to troubleshoot errors in more than 25 projects, written in multiple coding languages. By doing so, they have been able to quickly sift through the noise and solely focus on errors that really matter. This has allowed them to save valuable time, improve product quality, and onboard new engineers much faster.
99designs is the world's largest graphic design marketplace, with more than 400,000 customers soliciting help on design projects from 1.4 million freelance designers. As the number of customers and freelancers grew, so did the engineering team and the number of projects they were working on. Each of 99designs’ 7 engineering teams use multiple coding languages and are responsible for at least one of the company’s 25 codebases.
This is when it became apparent that standardizing how error troubleshooting was done throughout the engineering team would create significant efficiencies in the process. Before Bugsnag, each team had its own tools and process for addressing bugs. In addition, many of the error monitoring solutions available in the market were tailored to Ruby developers, but 99designs was mainly a PHP shop. They needed an error monitoring solution that would allow them to proactively see the effects of deployed code, in multiple languages.
Bug tracking can easily become very noisy, causing engineers to ignore errors due to notification fatigue. In fact, before adopting Bugsnag, John Barton, Head of Engineering at 99designs, mentioned “someone had to first notice a bug in the firehose of errors before it could get worked on.” Once the bug was noticed, the process to triage and fix the error was very time-consuming and manual. “Bugsnag helped us smartly and automatically categorize errors upfront, which significantly simplified our developers’ lives. And it worked perfectly for all of our coding languages,” states Barton.
With Bugsnag, 99designs has really tightened the feedback loop. As soon as something goes wrong, the right engineer to investigate it gets notified with minimal handoffs. Two features have really stood out for the 99designs engineering team: the Slack integration and error spike detection. If an unusual increase in errors occurs, the pertinent engineering team receives an alert in Slack.
“Bugsnag lets us smartly go about issues as they start having a big effect, either by increased occurrences or affected users.”
The primary responsibility for Barton and his team is to keep all systems up and operational. “The one thing that has really changed for us is quality and increased team productivity,” says Barton. “By having all of the information in one place, we can fix bugs faster than our customers can notice them, and therefore provide them with a great, reliable experience.” In addition, having one single platform to manage errors has allowed 99designs to onboard new developers much simpler. They have all of the information in one place, and can become productive much faster.