Hello after a month of chaos! I am writing for you for the first time from my new house in Richmond, Virginia. In the past 28 days since my last missive, lots of non-Buttondown things have happened: a cross-country move, an unpack (178 boxes in total, because of course we counted), a whole lot of Telemachus playing fetch (and gaining a solid two pounds thanks to his grandparents spoiling him), and Buttondown has — well, there’s been less forward progress and more staying afloat.
A whirlwind tour of the highlights (and lowlights):
- Overall, things were… pretty stable? Growth continues apace and I am much worse at inbox management than I’d like to be (it’s been a while since I’ve hit inbox zero, but I’m fairly steadily at inbox ~thirty). No major incidents besides…
- Heroku went down. That was annoying, even if I’m a little pleased that I found out before their status page was updated. Still, one hour of downtime in ninety days is not worth seriously considering accelerating my AWS migration plans.
- I had some Redis scaling issues. These were boring scaling issues: if roughly ~500,000 emails were queued up to send then my instance would cap out and deadlock and what do you know, that happened. This was solved trivially by bumping up my instance to the next size, but that’s only delaying the problem’s event horizon to the next order of magnitude. I’ve been fantasizing about migrating off of Redis and using postgres-based queuing (RQ, which I use as a queuing library, is not particularly wonderful even if the API is nice) and this accelerated things somewhat.
- February’s roadmap was ambitious, and… did not go as planned. There was a lot going on, and the snatches of time I had to work on Buttondown were spent furiously going through email and keeping the lights on. Despite that, I shipped one big thing that I haven’t quite blogged about yet (and will next week!) — an entirely new subscribe form. Given that this is an input that a cool ten thousand or so people convert through every day, the fact that I was able to roll out the new experience with no fanfare and a huge amount of uplift is tremendously exciting.
- March’s roadmap, on the other hand, is much more reasonable — two small features (already shipped!) and two bigger ones which are roll-forwards from February. The vast majority of the moving part of moving is behind me, but it’s still going to be a busy month: I’ve got two and a half trips lined up in the next three weeks.