November 24, 2019

A Time-Saving Idea

Colin Bartlett @cbartlett

The idea for StatusGator came on a Wednesday afternoon while consulting on a small team inside a large enterprise building social media marketing tools. I was relatively new to the product and was assigned a brand new bug ticket in Jira with a rather vague description: "This area of the app isn't working suddenly." I immediately got work digging in, trying to reproduce the issue. The problem was intermittent and involved an API call to Facebook. It wasn't until late in the day, poking around Facebook API docs, that I came across a page in their docs detailing the status of their API. And there it was: a yellow warning notice staying their API was experiencing intermittent issues.

After wasting hours of my own time and hundreds of client's dollars, the issue wasn't with our software at all but with one of our many cloud dependencies. The idea was crystal clear: there should be some kind of scraper that checked this page, and the status page any other service we used, and notified us when the status changed. Whether anyone else would need or want this was besides the point. I wanted this for myself and I thought I could build it in a few hours.

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