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Monthly Community Update -- May 2021

Hi all,

This is our monthly community update on everything that’s been going on behind the scenes at Bubble. You can read last month’s update here. Our first community update was May 2020 – can’t believe it’s been a year already!

I’m happy to report that there’s a lot that went right this month. We’re seeing some of the investments into the day-to-day operations of the company really start paying off. In particular, we hit our lowest ever business hours response time for support requests, averaging 1h and 32m, which is 26.2% faster than in March! Meanwhile, our response quality, as measured by our happiness survey, has gone up at the same time. Our resolution times for tickets escalated to the engineering team is also the lowest it has been in months. On the reliability front, there were no Bubble-wide outages this month, and fewer new bugs requiring a rollback than in the past. (Not counting the issues with this forum in the last day…)

We also continued to make good progress on most of our projects, and had some major wins on the hiring front. Overall, we’re ending the month feeling satisfied and optimistic: we still have a ton of work to do this year to get Bubble to where we want it to be, but we’re seeing a lot of positive momentum.

Changes we made this month

We had three notable product releases this month:

  • We rolled out better defaults for privacy rules, to encourage thinking about privacy and security from day 1. We are strong believers that building secure apps is very important, and think these changes will lead to an overall improvement in the baseline level of security across the entire ecosystem. As a reminder, if you are storing non-public data in your app, you must set up privacy rules: a sufficiently-skilled programmer will be able to access any data you have not set up privacy rules for even if there’s no page in your app that explicitly shows that data. For tutorials on setting up rules, see this video or our written documentation.

  • We added the frequently-requested ability to bulk-delete files via the data tab in the editor.

  • We released some fun experimental features geared towards making more interactive, game-like apps

In addition to those user-facing releases, we finished our work on the new asset-building system. This is a behind-the-scenes change, but it paves the way for a lot exciting future performance and reliability improvements. As regular readers of this update may recall, it was also one of the main blockers for further work on improving version control, since the old asset-building system systematically caused bugs with our version control system. We plan to start heavily investing in version control over the summer, which will likely take the form of further bug fixing, as well as improving the user experience to make it easier to keep tabs on what parts of your app are changing when you merge branches.

Another behind-the-scenes initiative we completed was a round of bug fixing on our Rich Text Editor component. We think it is now in a much more stable place than it was a month ago. There’s still some known issues with it, and we plan to do further work, especially on the performance front, but as mentioned in last update, it used to be one of the biggest generators of bug reports, and we think while it’s not perfect it is now substantially better.

If you’ve been checking our documentation, you may have noticed some changes; we’re now more aggressively embedding videos, and adding warnings about known issues and common confusions.

On the community front, we were very excited to host the second Immerse demo day, featuring some incredible BIPOC founders. If you missed it, watch the video and cheer them on retroactively!

We’re also continuing to invest in our bootcamps program and coaching marketplace. We rolled out a new educator portal to make it easier for our coaches and instructors to manage their sessions. We completed the first successful run of our new Professionals bootcamp, and will soon be launching a Fundamentals bootcamp geared at people brand new to Bubble who want to learn the basics without necessarily having a product idea yet. See our offerings here!

We published four new App of the Day posts. Please keep telling us about your apps if you’re building something you’d like to see featured!

We also released nine new Quick Tips videos – they’re a great resource to round out your knowledge of all Bubble’s ins and outs.

In addition to increasing their response speed, the success team rolled out a Bubble app to notify them about forum posts that haven’t received responses, and have begun chiming in on those threads. In general, the community is amazing about answering people who ask questions, and gets to them much faster than we do, but occasionally there’s a question that’s really a better fit for our team than for the community, and this way we won’t miss them!

Finally, we made some exciting new additions to the Bubble team. One of our big priorities this year is growing our engineering team: we only currently have eleven full-time engineers (plus four amazing interns), which is honestly incredibly tiny relative to all the ground that our product covers. So I am very happy to report that Jenn joined this month to drive our recruiting efforts, and Christian joined as the head of engineering at Bubble! We are also thrilled to welcome Colin to the success team, Jimmy as our first ever data scientist, and Steven as a product management intern!

If you reach out to [email protected], you might see some of their names, since most people who join Bubble spend time in their first few weeks on the success team directly working with our users.

This month in numbers

  • Total number of conversations via bug reports or [email protected]: 6,107 (down 6.2%)

  • Total received messages: 9,833 (down 7.1%)

  • Average response time to messages: (1h 32m during business hours, down 26.2%)

  • Time to resolve bug reports escalated to the engineering team: the average lifespan of open bugs and bugs resolved in the last month is 4.0 days (up from 9.4)

Things on our minds

Our focus right now is on growing the company. We think this is a very exciting time in the no-code space, and there’s real momentum for creating the world we envision, which is a world where creating technology doesn’t have to be a specialist skill, but rather a part of lots of people’s lives. There’s a ton more we want to do here that’s just very difficult to do as a forty-person company. So we’re extremely excited by the hiring updates announced above, and a lot of our energy is going towards investing in and growing the team.

On the product front, we remain focused on making sure that Bubble is a trustworthy, reliable, scalable platform for our apps: we will continue investing in making key features less buggy (including the planned version control work mentioned above), as well as continued backend initiatives to improve performance.

What we’re currently working on

New initiatives:

  • We are working on some unambitious-but-useful feature tweaks to the API Connector

  • We’re working on updating all of our documentation for Bubble-built plugins: a lot of the documentation was sparse, out of date, or non-existent; we want to make sure it is high quality and follows a consistent format.

  • We are looking into rolling out live chat on our website to supplement [email protected]: based on the sharp improvements in response time noted above, we think taking this on may be achievable!

Updates on our ongoing initiatives:

  • We’re developing a private bootcamp offering for schools and companies. If that’s something you’d be interested in, please reach out to us at [email protected].

  • Last month we reported that we were mostly done with the work on making it easier to debug issues with setting up custom domains. We ended up increasing the scope of this work a bit, and are speccing out potential front-end changes to the Settings tab.

  • We are working on getting our SelectPDF replacement into production. To be honest, it’s a little bit of a race between the end of the project and the last day of one of our interns who’s been driving the work: if we don’t finish before he leaves, we’ll hand it off to someone else on the team to get it over the line, but it might push back the release until people’s schedules free up.

  • We’re still doing element-by-element work for the new Responsive engine, but the core of the engine and new responsive editor is done and we’re planning user testing and rollout. We’re going to let some users bang on the new editor to make sure it’s actually intuitive, and once we’re happy with it, we’re going to give a preview of the system to template authors so that they can start porting templates over to the new system prior to public launch, since we’d like most of our templates to be compatible on day 1. Apps can be ported to the new system one page at a time: there’s some manual work to ensure that the page still looks good and behaves as expected, since the new algorithm works slightly differently and has different controls and settings.

  • The complete redesign of our editor looks like it is on track to begin alpha testing with users by the summer: we’re still doing rounds of internal QA first, since we don’t think it’s a good use of our community’s time to point out issues that we can spot for ourselves.

  • Hiring: we are actively looking for roles across all aspects of the business. In particular, we’re looking for an EU-based person with previous Bubble experience to join the Success team: if that describes you and you’d like a job with us, please apply!

As always, everything we do is only possible because of all the support and engagement we get from our community. Have a great May,

Josh and Emmanuel

47 Likes

Awesome!

Marvelous!

Can/how can one join this?

Thanks!

1 Like

The version control focus is a really big deal for productionalized, large apps. This is really awesome and exciting news for making Bubble further enterprise-grade. Thanks for the update Josh!

6 Likes

Hey,

Hope the new PDF can be achievable. Love to see the new editor in action.

Later in the year, I think you can update some really old plugins, like the Multi file uploader, the slidebar menu and the date time picker, just and idea.

Great news, thanks for all the amazing stuff happening, @josh and @Bubble :grinning: :computer:

7 Likes

Really looking forward to this. I have no idea what to expect, but I hope it’s awesome. :blush: Page breaks with repeating groups are a nightmare. :blush:

Thanks again Bubble, I’m always so amazed at what we have been able to build with this awesome tool.

@j805 www.NoCodeMinute.com

For All Your No-Code Education Needs:

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5 Likes

Can we expect to try this in May?

Thanks a for the update @josh

2 Likes

Yeap … also eager to see the PDF functionality :grinning:

1 Like

A updated date time picker with date formatting for UE (and other) countries would be fabulous!

1 Like

@josh
What would happen to our apps that were built with old responsive engine?
Do we need to build it all from scratch or it will be converted automatically?
And I can’t remember but the new engine will make the elements to be bootstrap4 or something?

crosses fingers status code handling… status code handling… :slight_smile:

6 Likes

Happy to join the alpha testing group when the time comes. Where can I sign up for this?

1 Like

That would make my day :smiley:

Is that bot called @cmarchan ? :wink:

5 Likes

@rico.trevisan

I can’t stop laughing… :rofl:

5 Likes

Can I please be part of the testing group for the responsive engine :innocent:

I am drooling at the prospect of testing the new responsive editor and the new editor. Actually drooling. I just had to wipe it up.

Hey all, sorry to disappoint, but I just checked with the team about volunteers for testing the new responsive system + new editor, and unfortunately it sounds like we already have more than enough people signed up right now. Thanks, though, the team really appreciates the enthusiasm for the feature and will try to get it in front of everyone as soon as we can!

6 Likes

+1 interested in new PDF functionality. I’m currently implementing Docmosis instead of Select PDF.

3 Likes

Great to hear about continuing improvements in performance and reliability.

+1 for new PDF functionality

Are there any plans to expand the complexity that is allowed for privacy rules? For example, I frequently get this warning: “This thing’s X’s Y” can’t grant search access right now."

6 Likes