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Monthly Community Update -- February 2021

Hi all,

This is our monthly update to the community on what’s going on behind the scenes with us. You can read last month’s update here.

This month was big on recruiting and hiring, as well as steady progress on our ongoing project work:

Changes we made this month

This month we released a couple of performance and infrastructure improvements:

  • We fixed the issues with our workflow speed improvement from last month, and deployed it for real

  • We sped up our mechanism for transferring app databases between different database servers, and began using it to move apps off our original database server. This is very exciting, because it means that as we get more users, we can spin up more databases, and distribute the load evenly. We still have most of the main cluster apps on a single database server, but are now in the process of automatically spreading them out across 5 other servers. This is a big win in terms of reliability and performance, because having too many apps on the same server causes lots of problems, so the ability to spread them out to a safe level is one of the key goals for making our infrastructure scalable that we’ve been working on for a long time now. We’re still doing some work on this to make improvements to the process, but we’re over the main hump and starting to see the difference in our numbers.

We also launched a small tweak to our issue checker to catch a new class of problems we weren’t previously reporting

On the community side, we also had a couple of exciting releases:

Finally, this was a huge month on the team front. Shay and Charlotte joined the engineering team. Andrew joined the success team earlier in the month and D’azhane and Anna joined the success team this morning. Patrick joined us as an engineering intern, Kira joined as an intern helping with our Immerse program, and Andres joined us as an engineering intern this morning as well!

This month in numbers

  • Total number of conversations via bug reports or [email protected]: 4,743 (down 12.6%)

  • Total received messages: 8,033 (down 3.6%)

  • Average response time to messages: (3h 27m during business hours, up 19.2%)

  • Time to resolve bug reports escalated to the engineering team: for bugs resolved in the last 30 days, it took on average 6.32 days for engineers to investigate and deploy a fix or find a workaround for the customer (up from 3.4)

Things on our minds

This has been a tough month for outages. We had a number of issues: some self-inflicted via bad code rollouts, some caused by scaling pressures we’re working to keep up with, and others caused by a new threats (a DDoS attack that slipped through our existing defenses).

We’re disappointed, since we were on an improvement streak the last couple months, and it’s unfortunate that this month was so rocky: it felt like we took a step backwards from the progress we made.

That said, there are several things we’re doing to tackle this:

  • We’ve been staffing up a team dedicated to investing in our infrastructure and keeping Bubble up. Previously, we had miscellaneous engineers pitching in and working on infrastructure projects: moving to a dedicated team whose mission is to wake up thinking about how to keep Bubble stable is a big step forward.

  • Our project for splitting Bubble into an Immediate and Delayed release cluster is near the finish line. We were hoping to finish by today, and didn’t quite squeak it in, but we have it mostly working in a test environment and are just ironing out the remaining wrinkles.

  • Internally, we have a no-code tool for building new automated tests. We’ve been experimenting to see if we can get it useable by non-engineers on the team, to dramatically scale up our test coverage to prevent more bad code rollouts.

  • Finally, as mentioned above, moving apps between different database servers is a huge win in terms of stability. Of all our full system downtimes in the last year, I’d estimate at least a third, probably half of them were in some way related to having too many user apps on the same database server. It takes a long time to transfer apps: we do it gradually so that the apps can still run during the transfer process. So we’re still a little unbalanced today, but we’re better balanced than we were a couple weeks ago, and over the next month we expect to see further improvements.

What we’re currently working on

New initiatives:

  • We’re changing the backend used for the Logs → Server Logs tab of the editor. The new backend should hopefully be much faster, which is a major painpoint in monitoring production applications. We use the same backend for our own behind-the-scenes systems monitoring, so in addition to making things easier for our users, it’ll also help our team stay on top of issues in our infrastructure.

  • We’re working on a small set of features around keyboard and mouse handling to make it easier to build game-like or interactive UIs that rely on mouse or keyboard input.

Updates on our ongoing initiatives:

  • Our responsive overhaul continues: we are currently working on getting the Responsive tab working with the new algorithm and controls. See our most recent announcement about it here

  • We’re developing a new bootcamp program for Bubble professionals, aimed at advanced users who want careers as Bubble builders, freelancers, or instructors, and hope to launch that in February.

  • Merging the Bubble reference into the manual is very close to launch!

  • Our new CRM for the Success team is set to launch internally later this week.

  • Moving more of our asset-building to the new system: we’re in the final push, and are eliminating the last few things on the old system.

  • Moving apps between different databases is now mostly finished, as mentioned above. We’re still spending some engineer time on it fine-tuning and perfecting it before we move on.

  • As mentioned above, splitting the main cluster into two release tiers, Immediate and Scheduled, is close to release.

  • Our Zapier plugin is still waiting on Zapier for approval: we’ve now gone through multiple cycles of feedback and revision with their team, and believe we’re approaching the finish line.

  • The complete redesign of our editor is making great progress: we’re now steadily fixing bugs and design improvements identified during testing. Still looking on track to get actual users using it by the end of the quarter.

  • Hiring: we are actively looking for roles across all aspects of the business!

As always, thanks for all the support, and happy bubbling!

Josh and Emmanuel

43 Likes

:raised_hands: Awesome, good to hear all of the hard work you guys are doing. Keep up the good work!

For this:

What about adding something like this for games? Joystick for Mobile Phones

I think this would have taken my Zelda game to the next level. You could just build it as a plugin… Just a thought. :blush:

@j805 www.NoCodeMinute.com

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4 Likes

Love to hear this! Thanks for the update Josh! Looking forward to next month’s round of updates :blush:

1 Like

Thanks for the update!

Hi @josh

Can’t see any mentions to the version control system. Recently I experienced a bug with it, that took you guys more than 2 weeks to resolve.

Right now is really hard for teams to work simultaneously, and I can’t see much progress to resolve it.

Is there any update on the version control front?

Thanks. @Bubble

1 Like

These sound like amazing developments in the no-code world. Happy to be part of this crazy ride. Thanks for the update!

As ever, @josh provides context and clarity. Something very rarely seen outside the boardroom. Thanks mate

1 Like

Great, thanks for the update! Love to know more about the new responsive editor. It would be good if we get monthly updates/prototypes to try it as well, so that Bubblers can try and give comments (just like how early access game developers work) for the team to develop in a responsive(pun intended!) manner. Especially when you already have Slack channels going to source for ideas/feedback etc.

I believe many Bubblers will be happy to be your test subjects! :smiley:

1 Like

Any plans to implement new elements/features, like

  1. pre-build repeating groups with sorting, headers, etc?
  2. new transition looks?
  3. native PWA or Native APP export?
2 Likes