Sentry is a Superpower
January 26th 2017
Disclosure: Sentry is sponsoring the Hack & Tell
Software development is often described as a cycle in which changes are planned, implemented, and verified. This cycle exists for the product being developed, but also for each developer making changes to it. Modifying something and being able to see the exact effects as soon as possible is a huge advantage in being able to ship. Sentry is a service built for development teams to get that feedback for applications once they're deployed. With minimal effort, you get detailed error reporting for every unhandled exception that happens in any part of your stack. The best part of this is that your users are no longer in charge of letting you know when there is a problem.
If you have never used an exception tracker before, you can think of it as an extension of automated testing. You will get told if an issue makes it past your testing with all of the necessary context immediately. This will help you get a fix and regression test written and deployed. Increasingly, there might be devices and configurations that your applications are running on in the wild that you don't have available to test (and some you're not even aware of), which Sentry will present to you in the crash's context. The distinct context in which an error occurs is what makes something an exception. For each platform, Sentry will gather as much context as it can by default. The best part of this is that you can start using it today even if you don't have tests or any other safety mechanics. It is a GREAT first step.
On most platforms, a single line of code gets you up and running with enough to be useful and immediately makes your app less error prone and makes your team infinitely more responsive to problems. If you are curious how all those startups get so much dang code shipped all the time, I can assure you that Sentry is part of it. You can view all of Sentry's officially supported client SDKs here.
We are ecstatic to have them sponsoring the Hack & Tell for so many reasons - the biggest reason being their entire product is open source! Anyone is free to give input in how the product evolves and can contribute to the further success of Sentry. It is a perfect fit for a project being developed at a hackathon! Sign up for the free plan and start pressing buttons on your keyboard. Sentry will tell you when you've made a mistake, and you can go clean it up when you like.
Stay tuned for three more Sentry related blog posts in which we will go more in depth about same of our favorite Sentry features and client SDKs!