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Crash Reporting

4 benefits of crash tagging and codeowners for mobile teams

When crash tagging is combined with GitHub codeowners, engineers can see exactly who owns each line of code within a given stack trace. Here's how mobile teams benefit.

A mobile engineer’s work is rarely easy, but at least when you’re a team of one (or a team of a few) it’s a little less complicated.

The real sticky issues occur when mobile teams expand and scale. In larger enterprises, for example, multiple teams, composed of hundreds — sometimes thousands — of mobile engineers can all be working on one, single app. Or sometimes, like with gaming studios, a single org can own and be responsible for maintaining dozens of apps at once.

When these issues of scale arise, it can be difficult to know who is responsible for which section of code when bugs, crashes, and other issues occur. In fact, for some, the sheer practice of divvying out work to engineers has become a full-time job.

Enter the good people at GitHub and their CODEOWNERS file which provides “a simple way for repository maintainers to define which people and teams need to review your project.”

While GitHub CODEOWNERS files are great on their own, the real magic occurs when combining codeowners with techniques like crash tagging to unlock important benefits for your mobile teams.

How mobile teams benefit from crash tagging and codeowners

A screenshot of an Embrace dashboard.

Crash tagging is the practice of attaching metadata or labels to specific crashes in order to give engineers more context about the issue they’re debugging.

For example, a mobile team can tag crashes with information about the app version, device type, OS, or other relevant factors. By tagging crashes, developers can categorize them based on different criteria, making it easier to analyze patterns and diagnose problems.

When this technique is combined with GitHub codeowners, engineers can see exactly who owns each line of code within a given stack trace. This powerful level of insight, in turn, unlocks a number of benefits for mobile teams, including:

  • Identifying third-party code at the root of crashes: Combining codeowners with crash tagging means mobile teams can tag code that belongs to third-party SDKs and quickly identify when they’re the culprit of a crash.
  • Improved testing and quality control capabilities: The combination of crash tagging and codeowners makes QAing new releases more efficient. That’s because when testing identifies issues, it’s much easier to then assign that work to the appropriate person or team.
  • More efficient work distribution and task allocation: Developers never need to manually sift through code and stack traces to find new issues to work on. By combining crash tagging and codeowners, mobile teams can plan work and allocate resources more efficiently.
  • Expedited triage and debugging: When P0 issues arise, engineers can skip past the hard work of identifying who owns the code, and get right into fixing the problem.

Build better mobile experiences with crash tagging and codeowners

Engineers are builders first.

And while that is where they’d like to spend the majority of their time, unfortunately app maintenance and optimization are still critically important to a mobile team’s success.

One way engineers can spend less time fixing and more time innovating is by letting technology take the work out of their most tedious tasks. Combining codeowners and crash tagging is an important step towards achieving that goal.

Learn more about crash tagging and codeowners, including how Embrace makes it easy for mobile engineers, here.

Embrace Go beyond basic mobile monitoring

Better data and tooling can help your mobile team unlock powerful capabilities, like the combining codeowners with crash tagging. Learn more at our upcoming Nov. 9 webinar.

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