Rookout: What is rapid production debugging?

Where will the next Silicon Valley developer hub spring up?

The Saudis and the Emiratis are hoping that their (respective) year-2020 and -2030 ‘vision’ programmes will help develop the next creative industries hubs with technology skills at the heart of new innovation.

Meanwhile, the arguably already somewhat established software application development zone in ‘neighbouring’ Tel Aviv, Israel continues to quietly expand.

Among the new contenders now coming forward is Rookout with its rapid production debugging software.

What is rapid production debugging?

Debugging is getting rid of software bugs, obviously.

Production debugging is getting rid of software bugs that exist in live ‘production-deployed’ software that is running in live operational systems, fairly obviously.

So, rapid production debugging is Rookout saying that it can tackle bugs and understand software execution issues by collecting and pipelining data on-demand without any need for re-deploying, writing code to execute the debugging action or restarting the application.

“Tackling a bug or an issue often means writing extra code, testing it, getting it approved, pushing it to production and then often discovering that it still didn’t produce the data needed to solve the problem. This makes bug-hunting and data-exploration a long and complicated process that consumes R&D resources,” explained Rookout CEO Or Weis.

Rookout allows developers set up ad-hoc rules inside production code.

These rules work like non-breaking breakpoints, collecting the required data without prior instrumentation.

The application keeps running as normal, while the data is collected and then sent immediately to any destination such as alerting systems, monitoring, logging and analytics applications or any generic webhook.

The collected data can also be viewed on Rookout’s IDE, allowing the user to close the loop.

Rookout currently supports Python, JVM and NodeJS; on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and local servers. Rookout can be used with serverless and containerised applications, providing a vital debugging option for cloud-native code.

“Fixing bugs has become coupled with the process of deploying new software,” said Weis. “It doesn’t have to be like that. We realised that by separating debugging from the broader development process, dev teams can gain real visibility into their live code, enabling the agility and speed modern software demands.”

Rookout was founded by Israeli low-level software engineers (above quoted) Or Weis and Liran Haimovitch.

They drew inspiration from their time in elite cyber-units in Israel’s security services where they discovered that visibility of code is key for both attackers and defenders.

While being challenged by production debugging in other projects they ran, they realised that this practice of visibility could be applied to software development more generally.

Rookout, it’s like lookout, but with a cute rook on your shoulder to help make rapid production debugging happen – get it?

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