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Introducing Saved Searches

Tired of composing the same endpoint searches over and over while working on performance issues? We've got you covered with our new Saved Searches feature! It allows you to bookmark your commonly used endpoint searches by app, so instead of having to remember an exact query, you can just save it so you don't have to sift through your endpoints list again. It's just another way we try to help our users get answers, not just a bunch of data.

Need some help with a particular performance issue and want to share it with a colleague? Searches are shared with all collaborators on an app, so just save the query and you can easily show your coworker exactly what you were looking at.

Have a number of apps, each with their own performance problems to focus on? Because searches are unique to each environment (e.g. "development" or "production") and component (e.g. "web" or "worker"), you can use them to track what you're working on so only the relevant saved searches will be there when you meander over to a particular app dashboard before you've had your coffee.

Demoing your work to your colleagues? Instead of awkwardly composing your query while they watch, just save that puppy ahead of time.

Here at Skylight we believe it's the little things that make a big difference in user experience. I hope this small feature will make your experience of using Skylight just a bit snazzier and speedier.

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Take a look at our guides to see it in action. And as always, we love to hear from our users, so please reach out with any feedback.

If you're just here for the feature announcement, you're now free to go, but read on if you'd like to hear about what I've learned from bringing this feature to fruition.

Personal Takeaways

If you're a member of our Insiders mailing list, you may already know that this was the first time I've managed a feature on my own here at Tilde (or without a project manager) and let me tell you, I've learned a lot.

First, I've gained a greater appreciation for what project managers do. When I worked at a company with a PM I'd honestly get a bit PO'ed when a ticket did not define the full scope of what they were expecting, or the designs didn't include all the states of a feature. Ah, how the tables have turned. This project taught me how difficult it is to fully plan a feature ahead of time, even a small one, and why there is such an iterative nature to programming. So maybe go a little easier on your project manager. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Second, managing this feature helped give me more confidence in my software development skills and my ability to figure something out that might seem way over my head at first. It also helped me appreciate where I am in my software development journey more. Here are the things that I think really helped me get there:

Learn what works for you to get yourself unstuck

I discovered that often my biggest problem is that my question is just too vague, and the standard advice of talking to a rubber duck was just not cutting it. So I have a sort of rubber duck penpal instead. Before you think I'm just irredeemably weird (I mean, I do live in a city whose slogan is "Keep Portland Weird", so I guess I can't count that out), let me explain.

I've learned that I process things better through writing than talking. So I started writing out my questions as inline code comments just for me to see, which was, let's just say, eye opening. When I read the first question I write down my first reaction is a lot less "Great question!" and a lot more "I'm sorry, was that a thought?".

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Seeing it written out seems to trick my brain into thinking that someone else is asking me the question and, well, if someone else is asking, I really ought to try to clarify it and answer it, right? This leads me to ask myself narrowing questions that I also write down, and eventually I make my question so specific that I can figure out the answer by going to the documentation or googling it. As a bonus, if I'm still stuck, I can go to a colleague with this more specific question and it makes it a lot easier for them to help me. I'm not saying I do this all the time yet, but now it's what I strive to do, at least.

You will throw out work and, no, it was not a waste of time

Sometimes you're refactoring a bit of code and realize at some point that it's not working out. Or it might be that a design seemed good in the abstract but it doesn't integrate well with the rest of the feature when you see it in action. At that point it's often better to throw out that work and start over with the knowledge you gained from your first attempt. As far as I can tell, this is just... programming. You know, I'm not sure why I ever expected I should be able to write code that works exactly the way I want the first time. Literally nobody does that all the time or even most of the time.

Dive in and learn what's right in front of you

I am a recovering perfectionist and former straight A student who thought that was the be all end all of being a competent human being. I was always looking for that โญ๏ธ. And so I've spent my development career stressing over the specific skills I need to develop to finally be a real web developer.

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But there is no single source of truth to tell you what skills a web developer needs to have because our field is so new and ever-changing. And itโ€™s not like you can just download "web developer" as a skill.

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It's more like you're walking on a path and each time you go over it you notice and learn different things and deepen your knowledge. Eventually you work on enough of a variety of things that you learn how stuff fits together and you see more of the nuances. And one day you look up and discover that you know where to look when various problems come up. It's not some big goal of being a competent developer or some big picture skills blueprint that gets you there. It's immersing yourself in each problem you come across, reading the relevant documentation, and honing your questions to build better understanding over time. So have a little patience with yourself and just dig in.


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