Catchpoint gives us insight into how our site is performing for various users and locations. In turn, it helps us debug issues and deliver the best experience to teachers in the moment while prioritizing changes to make over time.
Having used Catchpoint at another company, TpT’s CTO recommended Catchpoint digital experience observability solution to replace the lightweight solution the company had used for periodic uptime checks. Upon seeing the full range of features and ability to gain insight into the user perspective, the company was sold.
Quickly Identifying Issues
“We can see whether performance was impacted on multiple pages, in a specific location, and even for certain types of users. And if we can’t reproduce an issue in our environment, we can run an instant test in Catchpoint and then review and share the waterfall view,” says Bryant.
Running Health Checks
TpT uses Catchpoint at its API gateway to run health checks. Since the gateway is the first point of entry to understand any health-related issues, Catchpoint observability makes it easier to understand the source of problems. The company monitors health over time and can use Catchpoint to track to a baseline and even back to a code change.
“Catchpoint is highly valuable for helping us keep our systems healthy and up to date,” says Silver.
Streamlining the On-Call Experience
Each TpT product team is part of the on-call rotation and uses Catchpoint to understand the user experience. Rather than being alerted to back-end errors that are lower priority, they are alerted when an incident might be impacting the user experience. Through the data Catchpoint provides, the on-call team can more quickly debug these issues.
Guiding on Best Practices
The web platform team takes advantage of Catchpoint to more easily share best practices when it comes to tests. In Catchpoint, the team can deliver tests with recommended settings, test cadences and more.
According to Bryant, “It’s incredibly helpful to be able to organize everything in Catchpoint.”
Catchpoint also delivers reporting for both mobile and desktop, allowing the company to report performance changes over time.
“We are moving to responsive design but will still maintain different code bases, so tracking over time is helpful. Plus, the reporting and insights empower us to determine how we should respond strategically to performance changes,” continues Bryant.
Scaling with Confidence
When the company’s leadership team decided to offer its subscription for schools for free to support schools in the wake of widespread school closures in spring 2020, its teams adjusted to figure out how to continue empowering educators.
As Silver – who was leading the project – explains, “We always want our users to have a good experience, and this was particularly true as many teachers grappled with remote learning for the first time."
When TpT set out with this initiative, it hoped to support thousands of teachers but saw unprecedented demand from administrators and schools across the country. Ultimately, it had to quickly scale to help more than 300,000 teachers nationwide. Catchpoint allowed the business to aggregate many pages and understand their response times, enabling the organization to scale with the demand.
“As we improved our platform, Catchpoint enabled us to make informed decisions about when to scale. We continue using Catchpoint to ensure we don’t exceed our performance threshold,” Silver says.
Integration with Key Tools
By integrating Catchpoint with PagerDuty and Slack, TpT greatly improves monitoring for its teams.
- PagerDuty - With Catchpoint data fed into PagerDuty, all product teams access alerts in one location. This ensures teams are not overwhelmed with data while also making it easy for them to drill down to debug an issue.
- Slack - The product teams use Slack daily to communicate and to receive all alerts, even those they don’t need to act upon right away. Catchpoint integration ensures they are aware of any issues they need to address immediately.
While TpT uses Catchpoint to ensure basics like site availability, its product teams find it valuable to access all relevant performance information in a single tool. Moreover, the company enjoys the fact that Catchpoint is a scalable, flexible tool that has grown along with its needs.
As it has expanded its use of Catchpoint, TpT appreciates learning best practices from Catchpoint.
“Itʼs valuable to understand considerations such as how to scale to enable a logged-in experience. This empowers our teams with the control they need to do their jobs optimally. And as we move to a more service-oriented architecture, Catchpoint provides the data and insights we need to move ahead with confidence,” concludes Bryant.