How Crashlytics Helps Mobile Developers Focus on the Things that Matter

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By Janet Choi

Crashlytics provides real-time crash reporting for mobile apps, down to the exact line of code that caused the crash. We chatted with Rich Paret, Director of Engineering, about how Crashlytics is leading the pack at an interesting stage of mobile development.

Crashlytics logo

Current mobile performance management options run thin due to a knowledge gap that arises after somebody downloads an app. Rich recounts, “When [our] founders talked to developers about what they were doing to manage the quality of the stuff once it hit the app store, we found out that some software companies were paying an engineer to read the reviews in the app store. Any review that was under 3 stars, they would try to reverse-engineer from the reviewer’s comment what was wrong with the app. That’s a crazy sort of situation to be in.”

With Crashlytics, developers no longer are blind to how their mobile apps are performing in the wild. It has been so successful at doing this that it powers many top apps like Yelp, OpenTable, HBO, PayPal, and Square, and is deployed on hundreds of millions of devices.

The Cambridge-based startup doubled in size in the last six months, and with the sudden growth, the Crashlytics team wanted to avoid the problem of what Rich calls “islands of information,” where some people know certain bits, while others don’t know what’s going on. So instead of daily standups which can get unwieldy, Rich thought iDoneThis would fit the bill for making sure that “everybody is aware of what’s going on, in a lightweight way.”

Crashlytics director of engineer Rich Paret

Experienced in thinking about, building, and managing great collaborative teams, Rich tells us about the challenges of having to pay coordination costs as groups scale up. “Investing in the right tools and taking advantage of things like iDoneThis allow me to pay a lower coordinating cost than I would otherwise have to at this stage.” In turn, Rich has observed “a general awareness of what’s going on, how things are going, that sometimes you don’t get at a startup that’s growing this fast.”

Rich emphasizes recruiting people who are both self-directed and collaborative and plugging in tools for them to work that way. “Then you could step back, I don’t need to be mediating every relationship, I don’t need to be scheduling a meeting to make sure everybody is talking. We use iDoneThis as a tool to encourage the behavior that I want to see and that I’ve hired for.”

Crashlytics is gung ho about building awesome solutions for developers, who “have a lot of pain and a lot of need,” to help them spend “more time on doing things that matter, like building new features, and differentiating their product in the marketplace.” iDoneThis similarly provides a way for Crashlytics to spend more time on doing things that matter, serving as “a good base layer, sort of substrate for a bunch of collaboration and communication that might not otherwise happen,” Rich comments. “It makes it easy to focus on the work but also stay in sync.”

We’re inspired by Crashlytics’ enthusiasm and proud to support their work helping mobile makers make awesome apps!


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