Why We Didn’t Build a Native Chat Client

Why We Didn’t Build a Native Chat Client

DevOps Philosophy and the Four Reasons PagerDuty Chose Not to Build a Native Chat Tool

Transparency and collaboration are at the core of DevOps philosophy, and ChatOps is an important aspect of both. ChatOps puts an entire team or organization’s work in one place – everyone’s actions, notifications and diagnoses happen in full view. A native PagerDuty chat client would be designed for use during incidents, and wouldn’t replace the chat client you use every day. Having two different chat records, which a native chat client would encourage, runs counter to the DevOps philosophy.

Valuable information should all be in one central location. Conversations about your outage should be in the same place as conversations about all aspects of your system, like information about your deployment, and who ran what script and when. It’s more helpful in the long run, and makes it easier to compose a post-mortem.

Incident responders shouldn’t be learning a new communication tool in the heat of an outage. There are more important things for them to be doing with their time in those critical minutes after receiving an incident, and they should be using the tool most familiar to them – the same chat client that they use to discuss their system as a whole and send each other cat photos.

Great partners already exist. PagerDuty is all about partnership, and there are already wonderful leaders in the space doing amazing things. PagerDuty is fully integrated with HipChat, Slack, and Flowdock. We like to leave building an effective, innovative, and ever-improving chat client to the experts, and instead focus on building the most reliable IT Operations Management platform on the planet.

Open source collaboration lets users customize with the chat client that works best for them. PagerDuty has a well-documented REST API, and we encourage our community to build open source tools between PagerDuty and existing chat clients. Amazing and useful things are being built all the time to be used with PagerDuty and the chat client of their choice.



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  • ismet özöztürk
    Posted at 6:40 am, June 19, 2015

    To be honest i like chat tools integrations like Slack, Hipchat. However it just does not feel native and clear about incidents. If i see an incident on my chat client, i usually go back to web to check it out. That being said, i like war-room style ubiquitous chatops at web and find it efficient, native and comfortable like in Victor`s.

    • Todd Vernon
      Posted at 3:56 pm, June 19, 2015

      Integrations like Slack, HipChat and Flowdoc are really important as Sam points out in his new series of what they are going to build, but as ismet correctly points out, most alerts have hundreds of fields in them and having the ability to achieve, expand, and report all these in the time line in their entirety is also very important. Horizontal Chat tools are great for small messages to keep others informed but in the fire-fight you really need all the information available to you. Im, the CEO of VictorOps and both technologies working together is really the best of both worlds. Good post, pointing out the differences in philosophy Sam!

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