Vend

Watch how Vend ships code with zero disruptions to customers

In the world of digital transformation, where every company is a software company, the moviegoing experience now begins online. The small cinema sector is no exception, and the pressure is on for boutique cinemas to keep up with large multiplexes and meet online expectations.

“It’s not just about when you turn up to the cinema anymore. It’s about the entire booking process,” says Sean Jackson, Software Development Manager at Veezi. “Buying your ticket online needs to be as easy and simple as possible.”

To help independent cinemas provide the unique and frictionless experience that moviegoers crave, Veezi’s development team needs to deliver updates and features that are error-free.

“It’s incredibly important for Veezi to deliver a reliable experience.” Sean says.

Sean Jackson, Software Development Manager at Veezi
Vista Cinema software runs in 40% of the world's cinemas in 100-plus countries worldwide. If our customers aren't getting a reliable experience from us, that means their customers aren't getting a reliable experience from them.
Sean Jackson - Software Development Manager

As a manager, it’s Sean’s job to maintain development velocity by optimizing the time developers spend writing code. As part of that task, Sean is always looking for inefficiencies in processes and tooling. During a routine evaluation, he noticed that managing errors was consuming too much of his team’s time. Sean recognized that instead of testing every configuration and looking through error logs to diagnose errors, an error monitoring solution would alert them to errors and their cause.

Sean says that when they implemented Raygun Crash Reporting, he was able to introduce more efficient error management workflows. The results were excellent—his team saved hours every week—enabling them to optimize time spent writing features and delivering quality code to customers.

Collection of images showing Veezi by Vista using Raygun Crash Reporting to increase reliability

The confidence to deploy, even during times of increased load

Modern multiplexes have set the bar high for independent cinema. Moviegoers want a boutique experience, but still expect state-of-the-art screens, luxury seating, and flawless booking experiences.

Monitoring thousands of applications for software problems is challenging, but Veezi has built robust workflows that ensure—even with increased load from blockbuster movie releases—there is no downtime for their customers.

Sean explains: “For movie releases like the Avengers or a new Star Wars movie, we'll see up to 20 times our usual load coming through our ticketing systems.”

Even during these high-load windows, Raygun Crash Reporting gives the team confidence to deploy changes and bug fixes faster. “When we deploy a feature into our test system, being able to find any errors before we push it up to production and before our customers notice is absolutely critical. Raygun is absolutely an integral part of our workflow to enable deployment of better software faster.”

With Raygun’s Dashboard, Sean’s team can investigate and resolve errors before customers notice, allowing them to deliver their product more reliably and more quickly.

I think now we have one of the best workflows you would find anywhere. We're able to power through writing new features more of the time and that means better outcomes for our customers and their customers.

A best-practice workflow enables Veezi to innovate and scale up faster

A best-practice workflow enables Veezi to innovate and scale up faster

Online ticket sales for cinemas are increasing every year, and we know that moviegoers that purchase online are more likely to attend in groups, buy concession items and upgrade to premium seating. Therefore, more independent cinemas are turning to Veezi to help increase their online reputation and their bottom line.

As Veezi’s team grows and scales up to meet that demand, Sean wants to ensure the development team is always delivering new value and maintaining an error-free product.

"It's important for us to be able to have a lot of confidence in our own product. Because everyone here is really passionate about the movies, we are essentially customers of our customers. That motivates us to innovate faster and deliver our product as soon as achievable as well.”

Linbis uses Raygun Crash Reporting and Slack for proactive error monitoring

To create an effective method of detecting errors in production, Eric looked to Raygun Crash Reporting. One of the first steps Eric’s team took was to set up production alerts so that the development team is made aware of any issues in real-time.

“Raygun’s had a positive impact on our team; that ties back to the developer’s ability to spend most of their time writing features with confidence and reducing the lead time of feature delivery."

“Everyone is proud to be part of this unique business where we are supporting the independent cinema industry with a mission-critical product and in doing so, increasing both the standard of their moviegoer experience and the economic success of their cinemas.”

About Veezi and Vista Cinema

Veezi, engineered by Vista, is the leading independent cinema management software solution in the world. Running in the cloud, in more cinemas, in more countries than any other provider, you couldn't have better credentials to develop Veezi. A bunch of movie zealots working alongside Vista Cinema across 100+ countries (and counting), they understand the moviegoing experience and constantly strive to enhance it for all.

Visit www.veezi.com and follow Veezi on Facebook and Vista Cinema on LinkedIn and Twitter

“You can look at independent retail in two ways,” says Ben Gracewood, the Chief Engineering Officer at Vend. “One is that it’s under assault from companies like Amazon. The other is that small vendors are the future.”

By offering their award-winning cloud-based POS services, Vend gives over 25,0000 independent retailers the tools they need to delight their customers across multiple channels, plus provides them with sales data they need to stay on top of business.

Vend’s engineering team has created a world-class workflow designed to get updates in front of retailers as quickly as possible for real customer feedback and iteration. When asked what makes Vend successful in this mission, Ben says, “The approaches we use at Vend are the same as those used at Slack, Twitter, and Netflix. We bias towards action—we ship to production constantly because we want to quickly see the effect of a change.”

Frequent shipping comes with its own set of challenges. Vend’s engineering team needs to deliver value into the hands of retailers quickly, but also make sure those changes don’t introduce problems or errors.

Ben explains that “Reliability is incredibly important to retailers, especially around times like Christmas, where vendors might make or break their business over just one week.”

Ben maintains that the challenge is to balance frequent shipping with reliability.

Ben Gracewood, Chief Engineering Officer at Vend

We want minimum disruption for retailers, so they can continue what they do best; look after customers and sell the products they love.

Ben Gracewood - Chief Engineering Officer

100% visibility into the effects of changes

Vend ships code multiple times per day to get valuable software updates to their retailers faster.

To maintain and scale that development velocity, Ben empowers his engineering team with a culture of visibility and ownership. He explains, “As soon as engineers start at Vend, they learn how to monitor and understand the health of the changes they have made. Every engineer owns the code they ship.”

When Vend added Raygun Error Monitoring to their suite of monitoring tools, Ben found that engineers could get to the cause of an issue much faster than they had been able to previously.

Collection of images showing Vend culture and Vend using Raygun Crash Reporting

“We always had logging; log shipping, log aggregation, and log searching,” Ben explains. “But it’s hard to find what you need in that haystack. In the past, you would need someone skilled in log searching to narrow down the error. Now, if we see a spike in 500 errors from one of our other systems, we look at Raygun, which quickly tells us what is causing those errors.”

Vend’s philosophy is that all engineers should be able to understand the impact of changes they make to the software. Any engineer has access to production and can see what retailers are doing on a day-to-day basis. Ben explains: “At Vend, everyone is empowered to see the impact of their work. We’re all in this together, which helps to facilitate the culture of ownership. Raygun is an essential part of that toolset. When I think of all the tools we use across the board, it's one of the most accessible tools for people of all sorts of technological levels.”

Raygun is an essential part of our toolset.

Helping independent retailers thrive

Vend's engineering team prides themselves on the quality of their software, with every update supporting their dedication to delight their retailers. “Retail is at the heart of everything we do,” Ben says. “We are tangibly close to retailers when we make changes in our software. We can really help them to do well and thrive in this complex and interesting time for retailers.”

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