Debugging is an art. Reproducibility is a science.

March 25, 2022

Today, we’re launching our new brand, PlayerZero, a refresh that represents the first year of our learnings, conversations, and user growth.

PlayerZero represents a thesis we’ve always believed in: product quality is the single biggest driver for product (and thus, user) love. And one of the best indicators of our product quality is the process by which we listen, understand, and respond when our product breaks.

Playing detective

We started on this journey a year ago trying to build a platform that could connect real people to the engineering quality discipline.

We heard stories from our users; from independent developers to Fortune 10 companies, everywhere we looked, we heard a similar story about how they put out product fires. It didn’t matter whether they were billion dollar juggernaut or a scrappy startup, the process of getting to the bottom of an issue was like playing a game of telephone between actors who couldn’t even speak the same language.

The current state of a modern team’s triage workflow (without PlayerZero)

Monitoring tools give you some information, and analytics might give you some more. More times than not, the Senior Engineer who had built the system in the first place has the last important nugget to know where to look.

Our tools fail us, and at the core of the workflow we have to turn to people to manually piece together details just to cross the starting line. And the people who can truly connect all the dots are really rare, even in the largest and most sophisticated organizations.

We’re building a platform where engineers congregate to talk about and understand quality. It is the page that’s shared on the Zoom screen when you’re trying to get to the bottom of an issue. The bridge that connects visibility to reproducibility.

Thinking bigger: why now?

More data is recorded today than ever before. Every click, every keystroke, every thought is recorded and catalogued somewhere. Despite this, the way modern organizations understand, communicate, and fix issues still comes out of the history books.

This idea of data-driven reproducibility seems obvious, but why hasn’t it happened yet?

  1. More data is recorded today than ever before. This data offers a pristine view into the environments and behaviors that define us. In spite of this, this data never becomes operationally useful to the day-to-day decisions a developer has to make.
  2. There’s a huge gap between collecting data and acting on it. User telemetry data has been collected for years now, but that data is rarely used to make the engineer’s life easier. In order to bridge this gap, we’ve set out to build a new class of interfaces, algorithms, and systems to make advanced analytics, simulations, and user data embedded in our debugging workflows.
  3. Quality has always been subjective, and it’s one of the last verticals to remain that way. Data is central to the way almost every business vertical works today. Yet our process to communicate and understand quality is pinned on vague, arbitrary, and unhelpful descriptions.

Debugging is an art. Reproducibility is a science.

We’re building a platform that enables developers to simulate what a user did, in a brand new environment (yes, localhost too). It’s a bold idea that gets at one of the most universal problems in modern software. When we succeed, a developer will always know where to start when an issue is handed to her. Over the course of the next few months, we’re rethinking some of the most fundamental workflows around issue reproducibility that empower developers to:

  • Quickly understand and communicate context to the people who really need it
  • Reproduce issues in new environments where builders have control to experiment
  • Iterate on and validate root-cause hypotheses in seconds instead of days

This is what we’re building at PlayerZero. PlayerZero is a workspace for data-driven reproducibility. It’s all about empowering our engineering teams with the right information at the right time, so they can make better decisions.

Follow our changelog for updates on our progress. Or sign up for our beta to get started today! Also, you can learn more about the name "PlayerZero" and how it came to be here.

While we’re currently in private beta, our team at PlayerZero is quickly growing, with deep expertise spanning machine learning, web development, and distributed systems. If you want to help build the future of software quality, join us:

Written by:
Animesh Koratana
Additional Articles

Debugging is an art. Reproducibility is a science.

March 25, 2022

Today, we’re launching our new brand, PlayerZero, a refresh that represents the first year of our learnings, conversations, and user growth.

PlayerZero represents a thesis we’ve always believed in: product quality is the single biggest driver for product (and thus, user) love. And one of the best indicators of our product quality is the process by which we listen, understand, and respond when our product breaks.

Playing detective

We started on this journey a year ago trying to build a platform that could connect real people to the engineering quality discipline.

We heard stories from our users; from independent developers to Fortune 10 companies, everywhere we looked, we heard a similar story about how they put out product fires. It didn’t matter whether they were billion dollar juggernaut or a scrappy startup, the process of getting to the bottom of an issue was like playing a game of telephone between actors who couldn’t even speak the same language.

The current state of a modern team’s triage workflow (without PlayerZero)

Monitoring tools give you some information, and analytics might give you some more. More times than not, the Senior Engineer who had built the system in the first place has the last important nugget to know where to look.

Our tools fail us, and at the core of the workflow we have to turn to people to manually piece together details just to cross the starting line. And the people who can truly connect all the dots are really rare, even in the largest and most sophisticated organizations.

We’re building a platform where engineers congregate to talk about and understand quality. It is the page that’s shared on the Zoom screen when you’re trying to get to the bottom of an issue. The bridge that connects visibility to reproducibility.

Thinking bigger: why now?

More data is recorded today than ever before. Every click, every keystroke, every thought is recorded and catalogued somewhere. Despite this, the way modern organizations understand, communicate, and fix issues still comes out of the history books.

This idea of data-driven reproducibility seems obvious, but why hasn’t it happened yet?

  1. More data is recorded today than ever before. This data offers a pristine view into the environments and behaviors that define us. In spite of this, this data never becomes operationally useful to the day-to-day decisions a developer has to make.
  2. There’s a huge gap between collecting data and acting on it. User telemetry data has been collected for years now, but that data is rarely used to make the engineer’s life easier. In order to bridge this gap, we’ve set out to build a new class of interfaces, algorithms, and systems to make advanced analytics, simulations, and user data embedded in our debugging workflows.
  3. Quality has always been subjective, and it’s one of the last verticals to remain that way. Data is central to the way almost every business vertical works today. Yet our process to communicate and understand quality is pinned on vague, arbitrary, and unhelpful descriptions.

Debugging is an art. Reproducibility is a science.

We’re building a platform that enables developers to simulate what a user did, in a brand new environment (yes, localhost too). It’s a bold idea that gets at one of the most universal problems in modern software. When we succeed, a developer will always know where to start when an issue is handed to her. Over the course of the next few months, we’re rethinking some of the most fundamental workflows around issue reproducibility that empower developers to:

This is what we’re building at PlayerZero. PlayerZero is a workspace for data-driven reproducibility. It’s all about empowering our engineering teams with the right information at the right time, so they can make better decisions.

Follow our changelog for updates on our progress. Or sign up for our beta to get started today! Also, you can learn more about the name "PlayerZero" and how it came to be here.

While we’re currently in private beta, our team at PlayerZero is quickly growing, with deep expertise spanning machine learning, web development, and distributed systems. If you want to help build the future of software quality, join us:

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