Software at Scale 10 - David Cramer: CTO, Sentry

  
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David Cramer is the co-founder and CTO of Sentry, a monitoring platform helps every developer diagnose, fix, and optimize the performance of their applications. Before this, he worked at Dropbox and Disqus.

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We discuss the evolution of Sentry from both a technical and business perspective: the architecture, some outages, hiring, improving the customer experience, and more.

Highlights

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0:00 - The history of Sentry

10:00 - The initial architecture of Sentry. It started off as a Django plugin, and would write to the production database.

12:10 - Keeping software simple.

14:39 - The scalability of PostgreSQL. MVCC.

19:00 - Sharding databases (or not) at Sentry. Multi-tenancy of customer’s exceptions. The overkill nature of most solutions.

23:30 - Transaction ID Wraparound - the source of Sentry’s largest outage. Customer reactions to large outages. Robinhood and Gamestop.

35:00 - Scaling out engineering quality when hiring more engineers. Hiring engineers in charge of developer productivity. Setting engineering culture, and making an impact as the CTO.

44:30 - Challenges while growing out the company to more than a hundred employees and over a million users

47:00 - Hiring outside of your network, and managing attrition.

54:30 - Transitioning from CEO to CTO

66:00 - Maintaining transparency with customers in a devops company

68:00 - The evolution of developer tools companies in the last few years.