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Monthly Community Update -- July 2021

Hi all,

This is our July community update; you can read June’s update here.

This has been a very hiring-focused month for us: across the team, we did 410 interviews in June. We also have 15 open roles we are hiring for, which is a new record for us as a company. We are hiring for customer success (experienced Bubblers wanted!), product management and product design, and engineering, as well as some leadership roles. We’re based in New York City, but we are open to hiring remotely, especially on the success team, and for more experienced hires on the engineering and product team.

The downside of our hiring spree is that it slows down project work: between onboarding new team members, doing interviews, and running the recruitment machine, it takes a lot of time and mental bandwidth. The upside is that the company we are six months from now is going to look very different than the company today: as we close positions and onboard new team members, we should be able to accomplish things at a totally different scale than we’ve done in the past.

Changes we made this month

Most of the technical changes we made this month were low key or behind-the-scenes, but some of them are pretty impactful:

  • We’ve made some improvements to the way the API Connector retries requests if it hits errors, which should make it more reliable

  • We made a performance improvement to the way we process data returned via APIs. There were some issues with the way we were previously doing it that could make API requests consume a ton of capacity or take a really long time under certain conditions. This is now fixed, which has a big impact on a subset of user API calls

  • We added the ability to rename files when you save them to S3

  • We’ve solved a number of version control bugs, and believe the feature is considerably more reliable than it was a couple months ago. We’re still doing work on it, but many of the cases where merges led to weird results are now working better.

In addition to the changes we made on our end, we partnered with Nexus to release a plugin for creating decentralized blockchain DApps, smart contracts, and NFTs using Bubble’s no-code tooling.

We’ve been continuing to improve our process for handling bugs, which has resulted in the time to resolve bug reports steadily dropping over the last couple months. A big change we made this month is that our “Frontlines” support team now triages bug reports. They may share a solution out of the gate, ask you for more information, or let you know that the report has been escalated to our “Backlines” bug-investigation team. Previously, all bug reports went directly to Backlines. This posed some problems and slowed us down, as Backlines had to alternate between triaging and investigating. This change is helping us to provide users with faster and higher quality responses across the board.

Additionally, we’ve continued to invest in our in-house CRM (built on Bubble): this month we added functionality to enable account management and sales flows.

We’ve released some great new content for the community:

  • Seventeen new App of the Day posts, showing off the wide range of things people build on Bubble

  • We added 9 new Quick Tips to our video library. Here is one notable one: “How to Name Your Elements”

  • We featured the story of Teal, which recently raised a $5M funding round on a no-code stack. We love sharing stories of our users who successfully fundraise, because it validates that investors are seeing no-code as a viable alternative to traditional software development.

Speaking of the increasing legitimacy of no-code, we made a small contribution to making it more mainstream: we bought bubble.com and pointed it to our homepage! (We don’t have any near-term plans to switch to using it as our main domain name)

We’re also excited to report the progress of the NoCode student society: it’s expanding rapidly on college campuses, and students are starting to earn money as app developers.

Finally, on the hiring front, we’re excited to welcome Yana to our engineering team! We also have some accepted offers from our hiring push who start later this summer.

This month in numbers

  • Total number of conversations via bug reports or [email protected]: 11,008 (up 48.5%)

  • Total received messages: 10,161 (up 5.7%)

  • Average response time to messages: (1h 53m during business hours, up 17.5%)

  • Time to resolve bug reports escalated to the engineering team: the average lifespan of open bugs and bugs resolved in the last month is 3.0 days (down from 3.8)

Things on our minds

On the reliability front, we had a number of issues rolling out the API performance improvements mentioned above, which led to serious issues for some of our apps. We’re disappointed in how that went (although very glad to see that code live). On a more positive note, our infrastructure reliability this month was improved from last month: apart from a brief outage last night, there was no system-wide downtime. We’re also happy about the downward trend in our bug resolution timelines; we’ve been doing a much better job of triaging and deploying the engineering team’s time effectively.

One thing we’ve been discussing internally is being more focused in our engineering efforts. We’ve noticed a pattern where we spin up a lot of new projects, and then some of them take a really long time, stall, run into resourcing issues, or otherwise don’t go out the door in a timely manner. As a notable example, the Select PDF replacement effort still isn’t staffed, which is painful because it’s a popular ask from many users and we’ve already made substantial progress on it.

We’re trying to be more disciplined about our quarterly goals going forward: picking fewer objectives to target, and putting more resources against them. Our focus for Q3 this year on the engineering side is going to be run-mode application performance. We’re going to keep working on projects that are already in flight, but we’re going to be more disciplined about starting new ones and tilt our resourcing towards performance-related initiatives.

We’re still learning here: operating a 40 person company is very different than operating a 5 person company, which we were not too long ago. Luckily, we’re getting a lot of great guidance and mentorship from our network of other technology companies, and we’re excited about how the rest of the year will play out.

What we’re currently working on

New initiatives: as mentioned above, we’re being more disciplined here. We’re in the exploratory phase for a couple of quick-win projects, but nothing new currently in flight.

Updates on our ongoing initiatives:

  • Version control reliability: we’ve shipped some bug fixes here, and are continuing to work on some user-facing changes to the interface that should make it easier to understand the impact of a merge.

  • Bootcamps: we’ve spun up a new internal team to manage them going forward, because they’ve been a successful initiative and we want to continue to invest in them.

  • Migrating some of our code to Typescript: we’re targeting end-of-summer for this currently.

  • SelectPDF replacement: on pause as mentioned above.

  • New responsive design engine: last month, I mentioned that we basically had it build, and were doing some user testing. Based on some feedback we got, we had a little bit of a lightbulb moment, and came up with some ideas that we think will make the end result substantially better. The main change is that we’re going to permit different kinds of containers with different layout algorithms. We think this is worth delaying the project a bit, so we’ve pushed back the timeline by about a month to implement this new set of features.

  • The complete redesign of our editor is still in testing and bug fixing mode, and is still on track to begin alpha testing with users this summer.

We are very grateful for all the hard work the team has been doing over the last few months, and all the incredible building going on in the bubble community! Wishing you all a great July,

Josh and Emmanuel

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What will the implementation of the responsive engine look like? I am really excited about it, but curious about how it will rollout.

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Josh and Emmanuel,

Thank you! This is the best update I think we’ve seen yet… Transparent, straightforward, and full of great information. I appreciate reading about the focus on reliability and quality. Here’s to hoping selectPDF rises in priority and thank you again!

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Thanks guys! Great as always.

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Disappointed about the new editor delay, but not surprised. Will wait another 1-2 months to know if the new editor is on-track, which often gets pushed further and further. Seeing the number of people holding back their projects waiting for the new editor, I thought Bubble would have launched it by now.

Another much asked for feature, the PDF plugin is also on hold with no result in sight.

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Thank you for all you do to help us build even better solutions for our clients!

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Thank you!

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Thanks for the transparency and giving us an update on Bubble. I think we all greatly appreciate the communication since most of us are heavily invested in the Bubble platform. I’m excited for the upcoming enhancements!

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Thank you for the report. Really cool to see how it’s all going. Do the plans for the new editor address at all the Server Logs? Searching through these is difficult for a few reasons but most notably because of the format causing a lot of scrolling up and down to look through. A way to output the log to a dedicated log reading software would probably be very useful too.

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foquem tambem na parte mobile, minha empresa vem nos ultimos 5 anos apenas fazendo aplicativos usando o bubble, porem a dificuldade do bubble e responsividade mobile esta um pouco defasada

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I’m sure bubble.com was a big purchase for you guys @josh ! I appreciate that you are focusing on growth and reliability. I have been trying to bring more people to the platform, but they still have some reservations. The “.com” domain name should help.

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Thank you for all you do, Bubble team!

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:clap:
In my decades consulting with enterprises, this is the root cause of (pretty much) all problems.

This is #2.

“Bring projects to teams. Not teams to projects.”
A high-performance team is an intricate ecosystem. Transplant a part of it and it deeply harms the ecosystem.

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Wow Great :heart:
Waiting for the Editor redesign

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I’m really curious to know how the transition to the new responsive editing environment will be and how it might affect existing pages.

Will this be an application-wide ‘version upgrade’ inside the editor or are we just going to see a new editor one day?
Will there be an option to keep legacy pages ‘in tact’ or possibly work with the legacy editor on a page by page basis?

I guess my concern is that (despite its complexity) I’ve built many pages around the existing responsive editor and I’m not sure I want to just blow up my entire world all at once to keep up with critical updates and I’d like to be able to transition over or work with some pages ‘the old fashioned way’ for at least some amount of time without having to give up new features and updates.

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This is what i’m wondering as well. What will happen to my existing pages?
Will I need to change them all completely? How can bubble knows what to do with existing pages?

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Hello @josh and @emmanuel !
I have probably found a bug regarding this update, could you please fix it?

[Issue]
Picture1 : Fields in the bubble database
Picture2 : Data retrieved from bubble’s database using Data API (JSON format)

Comparing the two, the field “customer_LINE_id” is now named “costomer_LINE_id_text” when using the Data API. I don’t know if “costomer_LINE_id_text” is a field that I created before or if there is a conversion error on the bubble server. But I am sure that I cannot get the correct data using the Data API.

It could be my fault, but this error started happening around the time of this update.
I hope to hear back from you.


image

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@jon2 @nimmarn.c
I believe they’ve addressed your concerns in past updates. It will be “opt-in” on a page-by-page basis, if I remember correctly. So you will be able to transition one page at a time over to the new responsive engine. Those who have created templates will have first access.

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I’m not aware of a page by page opt in during past updates? Are you referring to editor changes? Is this mentioned in a post or documentation somewhere?

What you are saying sounds ideal though

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@jon2 @taylar.ngo @nimmarn.c taylor is correct: the plan is to allow page-by-page opt-in to the new system, so that big existing apps can be ported over gradually. For that reason, we won’t be tying it to the Bubble versioning system.

@jidoca.engineer Sorry you’re hitting problems: the best bet is to fill out Bug Report | Bubble and someone from the team can investigate

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