2018: The Year Bee-hind Us


In just a few days, we’ll all be embarking on the new year–kicking its tires and planning our conquests for the months to come. This holiday in-between week, while the days are just barely beginning to get a little longer, seems like a good time to look back on the events of the past year and remember some of the good times we’ve shared–so join me for a little retrospective fun:


As is typical at this point, we kicked the year off right by shipping an integration a lot of folks asked for: Cloudfront. And of course, Nathan took the opportunity to make as many U2 jokes in the blog post as possible :).

We reviewed, updated, and published our Company Values, and also spent some time working on our hiring philosophy. While putting it into practice, we learned some things:

how did you hear about honeycomb? well, i got into a fight with Charity Majors on twitter...

We rounded out the month by making Peter (and you, we hope!) very happy and shipping self-service capacity management controls and doing our best to put the dishes in the right place:


February was a pretty exciting month because we started by announcing our Series A funding round!

We celebrated Valentine’s Day with (terrible) poetry:

And called out folks who did not live up to their commitments:

(As unofficial company historian, I have to note that Toshok has yet to live up to this prediction…but hope springs eternal :))


March brought big changes to the Honeycomb storage architecture as we shipped Fast Query Window/Secondary Storage and gave our users more choices about how to manage their datasets.

And as always, we learned a lot from our colleagues–for example, we can always count on Nathan to do the science:


We started the month by delivering major improvements to Boards to help you all collaborate more effectively, and also suffered a major setback in La Croix availability:

I know some folks will be disappointed that we didn’t publish a postmortem for this issue, but you’ll have to continue to be disappointed 🙂


Putting the refrigeration tragedy behind us, we forged ahead and shipped the first few of our automagical Honeycomb Beelines–integrations that instrument your code automatically and configure it to send wide, context-ful events and traces to Honeycomb for your debugging delectation.

We continued to use Slackbot to improve ourselves, sometimes a little too keenly:

The end of May also saw our last all-hands and Bee-niversary observance in the office next to Black Hammer Brewing, with the celebration of Ginsu’s first year with us:

We’ll miss the charm of that office…but not the fact that it had only one bathroom 😉


Despite the turmoil of moving to a shiny new office, we marked a high point in June, shipping Honeycomb Tracing, which brings all the things you need to debug your systems together in one place–no more context switching required.

Nathan was the first to don the bee kigurumi in our new office:


Obviously we should have taken the warning signs back in April more seriously, because despite considerable telemetry,

we suffered a second failure of the beverage fridge:

Despite this extreme hardship we soldiered on and shipped our Beeline for Ruby as well as a sweet improvement to your deploy-related events: Range Markers.


One of the highlights of our year was putting on o11ycon–our hugely successful conference for the Observability community. We were inspired and motivated to continue to build the tools we know our colleagues across all industries need to diagnose and debug their complex distributed systems.

In addition to making all the conference proceedings available on the website, we wrote about our reflections from the event, and we especially liked this post-conference report from InfoQ.

We also published our first long-form guide, Achieving Observability, spent time refreshing our look, and creating new dance moves:


Dancing onward into the autumn, we shipped a major improvement to the Beeline for Go, with Ben also sharing wise tips for working late into the night:

(while modeling one of our awesome new staff hoodies.)


October brought us the quick self-orientation of Tracing Summaries, as well as PR 1000!

We also shipped a super powerful addition to Triggers: the ability to configure them based on Webhooks, and sent our much-traveling CEO some love from the bar next door to the office:


Every month feels like the busiest month here at the hive, but it most certainly felt like it in November–we put together a fantastic public data set for folks to play with and explore what’s happening on the RubyGems website using our Fastly integration. Then, we rolled out a completely redesigned home page experience for our users as well. Not satisfied with all this shiny new goodness, we also released the beta of what might be our most mindblowing feature yet: BubbleUp–a way to surface unusual detail in your data.

And to top it off, we published the next installment in our observability guide series: Observability for Developers.

It wasn’t all good news, though:


With the winding down of December, we are back around to the end of the year. We’re grateful to have spent 2018 with each other, and with you. 2019 will bring us more opportunities to empower engineering teams to own their code and elevate one-another, and we are excited to get to work!

And if you are going to make just one resolution in the new year, Ginsu has a suggestion: