By Raj Sarkar on December 1, 2014
Bitbucket helps teams build better software through collaboration. Our customers want tools they can trust and software that won’t break under stress or load. Robustness, reliability, and security are very important attributes of our software. But, like any other software, sometimes things may go wrong. Anticipating those situations and building good diagnostics and recovery features in the product is crucial.
Quality at Bitbucket
Our Bitbucket team doesn’t include an army of dedicated testers who would spend weeks before the release to find bugs. That’s inefficient and creates a sub-optimal split of responsibilities that leads to poor quality. Instead, we take a very different approach. Every developer on the team is responsible for the quality of the software. But not every developer is good at testing. That’s why we have a very small team of QA engineers whose primary goal is to enable every developer to do a better job with quality. It is usually achieved through the following tasks:
- Developer education: Help the development team learn best practices for writing high-quality code.
- Risk assessment: Think through all the possible scenarios that can cause the software to break and ensure that developers are aware of the highest-risk areas.
- Trend analysis: Analyze bugs and support requests to spot scenarios that have caused problems, and find ways to prevent similar problems in the future.
- Tool development: Provide test environments and new tools that help the development team ship high-quality software.
That’s why QA in our team stands for “quality assistance” and not “quality assurance”.
The challenges of scale
But it’s not that simple, especially if you’re building high-quality products at ever-increasing speed and scale with a small QA team. As Adrian Cockroft once said “scale breaks hardware, speed breaks software and speed at scale breaks everything!”. There are tons of problems to solve. Most importantly, there is a dire need for innovative approaches and tools.
Good engineering practices
In order to achieve our goals of building quality at scale we use some of the following tactics, which we are happy to share with the Bitbucket community:
- Branching model – Follow a branching model using git that enables the use of pull requests for code reviews. Having a second pair of eyes looking at every code change helps spread the knowledge within the team and spot potential problems early.
- Code documentation – Write code that is self-documenting and as readable as possible. This is crucial for effective collaborative work on the same codebase and helps new starters get up to speed with the code base quickly.
- Comprehensive tests – Create unit tests, system-level integration tests and performance tests to verify the functionality under load and varying environments and scenarios.
- Internal Dogfooding – Demo new features to a large audience of internal users to solicit feedback from different software teams.We sometimes use new features and components for months internally before we release them to our customers.
- Feature flags – Implement new features behind flags that allow us to roll them out slowly, starting with a small group of internal users at Atlassian, and then widening the audience to a segment of Bitbucket users.
- “Blitz” testing – Use a coordinated, short (~1-2 hour) round of exploratory testing of a new product or feature(s) by a group of people from across the company. This gives us extra confidence that we definitely handled all those different use cases.
- Right tools – Use static analysis tools to detect common coding problems. Track exceptions in real time in all of our environments and measure everything to ensure the entire system is working as expected.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re interested to learn more about how we do QA at Atlassian and if you’re in Austin, TX on 9th of December – join us for meetup and drinks. We’re also hiring, so check out this page if you’re interested.
Post written by Kostya Marchenko, QA Team Lead for Developer Tools at Atlassian
By Marcus Bertrand, Bitbucket Developer on October 15, 2014
As mentioned on Atlassian’s main blog, we’ve decided to end SSL 3.0 support on bitbucket.org in the wake of the newly-published POODLE exploit. Once all the facts were in, the choice was easy, and we acted quickly to address the issue.
In the POODLE exploit, a well-placed attacker can trick each end of an SSL transaction into downgrading to an older, insecure, cipher. Once the connection is established, the attacker can become and compromise the data going back and forth between server and client.
The exploit relies on both ends’ willingness to communicate over SSL 3.0. If just one end of the transaction is unwilling to cooperate, then the attack fails altogether. Some older browsers or Git/Mercurial clients may not be able to use the newer TLS standard, though – so why did we choose to disable SSL 3.0 outright?
- It’s the recommended solution to the problem. Möller’s paper describing the exploit goes into further detail here, especially regarding flaws in CBC block cipher padding, but the gist is that SSL 3.0 can no longer be trusted as an encryption mechanism; it’s fundamentally flawed, and it will not be fixed. The optimal solution is to disable SSL 3.0 on our end and force everyone to use some flavor of TLS instead.
- It has minimal impact on our users. All of the browsers we support can handle the newer TLS encryption standard, as can most of the Git and Mercurial clients that communicate with our servers over HTTPS, and the change has no effect whatsoever on SSH connections.
- It protects all of our users – even the ones whose stuff breaks because of it. We want to ensure that all of our users’ HTTPS sessions are unaffected by POODLE, so we’ve done the most effective thing to protect Bitbucket traffic from that particular attack (and a few others). We can’t protect our users from other sites, though, so if this change breaks your browser or client then (unfortunately) you need to upgrade ASAP.
If you need further assistance, then please contact us at support.atlassian.com.
By Megan Cook on October 7, 2014
HipChat notifications from Bitbucket are a great way to keep your team up to date on changes to their code repositories – no matter where they are. For example, your team can receive notifications in the HipChat room you use to collaborate whenever a commit is pushed to the repo. But of course, there’s a lot more happening on your repositories than just new commits. Issues and pull requests are a big part of your development workflow, so with our new HipChat add-on for Bitbucket, we’ve made it dead-simple to send notifications about those too.
Bitbucket’s new HipChat add-on includes the following notifications:
- Commits: when a new commit is pushed, or commented on
- Pull requests: when a pull request is created, commented on, merged, or declined
- Issues: when an issue is created, updated, or commented on
Our new add-on is also easy to install and configure. Just look for ‘HipChat integration’ in the menu when managing your team or personal account. Once the add-on is installed, any administrator of a repository can configure notifications. Notifications can be added or configured when managing an account or managing a repository. When you manage your account, you will be able to view and manage notifications across all repositories owned by the account. When you manage a repository you will be able to view and manage notifications for that repository.
If you’re new to HipChat, be sure to check it out. HipChat is a hosted private chat service for your team. Share ideas and files in persistent group chat rooms, create a new room on the fly, video chat when you need to, share files seamlessly, and more.
By Alison Huselid on September 18, 2014
If you frequently deliver apps to the cloud, you know every extra step to package and deploy your code introduces risk and can add hours to the process. Now, with Push-to-deploy support for Bitbucket, deploying changes to your application in App Engine is easy, and fast.
You can automatically trigger a deployment of your Java, Python or PHP app to App Engine by pushing code to your Bitbucket repo’s master branch or by merging an approved pull request. Simply connect your App Engine project to your Bitbucket Git repo.
Visit the Google Cloud Platform blog for the detailed instructions to connect your App Engine projects to your Bitbucket repos.
By Alison Huselid on September 16, 2014
Pull requests in Bitbucket are a great way to share proposed code changes for review and get feedback from your team. Of course, this typically leads to discussions and feedback in comments, which might result in further changes to the code. While great for improving code quality, feedback via comments can get lost easily. Now, with pull request tasks, you can turn feedback into actionable tasks. Never miss a crucial change.
To create a task, select Create task within a comment and enter the task info. You can also highlight the relevant text to fill-in the info before you select Create task.
Once you create tasks, you no longer have to search through all of the comments on a pull request to find follow-up items. You can keep track of all open and resolved tasks with a consolidated list available from the top of a pull request.
By Alison Huselid on August 11, 2014
Recently our teammate and Bitbucket engineer Erik Van Zijst had the opportunity to present at Euro Python 2014 in Berlin. Check out this video of his session on the Inner Guts of Bitbucket and get a detailed overview of our current architecture at all layers from Gunicorn and Django to Celery and HAProxy to NFS.
In addition to the inside scoop into Bitbucket’s inner workings, this video covers some war stories and shows how we too have to learn things the hard way sometimes.
By Justen Stepka, Product Manager on June 11, 2014
In the last few days, Bitbucket experienced intermittent database issues which caused the site to become unavailable for several minutes at a time. These outages are far beyond what we consider acceptable as a service provider, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this caused.
We continue to investigate these database issues and our goal is to resolve these issues permanently as soon as possible. As part of our on-going investigation we will be be making Bitbucket unavailable for up to four hours starting Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 10:00:00 Pacific to make database configuration changes and upgrades.
Please subscribe to http://status.bitbucket.org to receive instant updates via email, SMS or RSS as we progress through the downtime. Thank you for your patience as we work to increase Bitbucket’s performance and reliability. Please contact us email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns.
By Justen Stepka, Product Manager on May 30, 2014
In order to improve and maintain the overall performance for everyone who uses Bitbucket, we are rolling out size limits on newly-created repositories. Starting today, repository size limits will be:
- Soft limit of 1 GB – In-product and email notifications will give you a heads-up that you’re approaching the limit.
- Hard limit of 2 GB – Pushing to the repository will be disabled until you’re back under the limit.
If you already have a repository that is larger than the 2GB limit, your repository has been grandfathered so you won’t have any issues. Should you find your new repository approaching the 1GB soft limit, check out our documentation on how to reduce repository sizes or our blog “How to handle big repositories”.
Of course, Bitbucket still offers unlimited private repositories free for five users!
By Justen Stepka, Product Manager on May 20, 2014
The more code you can see on your screen, the easier it is to work with it. That’s why we broke away from our traditional fixed-width pages, and redesigned every page on Bitbucket to expand to the full width of your screen, as wide as your browser will allow.
When you’re in the zone, having to scroll horizontally to see all your work can really break your focus. Bitbucket’s new expansion capability makes it easier to view source, conduct code reviews, or edit files. Other pages, such as the listing of all your open pull requests, are now much easier to read now as well.
To reduce scrolling even more, we moved the navigation and action links from the top of the page into a collapsible bar on the left side. Using Bitbucket’s keyboard shortcuts, the sidebar can be expanded or collapsed simply by pressing “[“.
Whether expanded or collapsed, the bar is anchored to the side of your repositories, giving you instant access to common actions like creating a pull request – even when you’ve scrolled waist-deep into a diff.
Dead simple READMEs
READMEs are a great way to make your project more attractive, and jumpstart other devs who want to pitch in. So we felt they deserve some special treatment.
If your project doesn’t already have a README, we’ve made it brain-dead simple to get one started. Just use Bitbucket’s online code editing features, and a template that includes suggestions for key repository details such as installation or configuration instructions, contact information, license information, and acknowledgements.
For repositories that already have a README, we’ve added a direct link to our online editor so it’s easy to keep your project details up to date. By default, READMEs will be created in Markdown. But if you’ve got an ASCII or reStructured file, that’ll work fine too.
Most of us have an ever-growing set of repos, and finding the one you need to work with can be a pain. The redesigned dashboard now features your repositories front and center, with the most recently active repos at the top. And the same quick search and filters are still there, making it extra easy to find repos you own or watch.
To make accessing the dashboard lightening-fast, we’ve added shortcut links to the global header so you can jump there from any page on Bitbucket. We’ve also moved the activity feed to the right side with a high-level overview of what’s taking place across all the repositories your team is working on.
Try Git out for free
Join the growing number of teams that host their code on Bitbucket, and stay more connected with unlimited private repositories free for five users. Or if you want to run Git on your own servers, check out Stash, our on-premises source code management for Git – it’s secure, fast, and enterprise grade.
By Marcus Bertrand, Bitbucket Developer on April 22, 2014
Starting today, we will be migrating all repositories to a new storage system which will allow us to improve the service and reliability of Bitbucket.
Over the next weeks, you can expect the following:
- Repositories will be migrated to our new storage system on a rolling basis and not all at once.
- During each repository’s migration, it will be placed in read-only to ensure data integrity and reduce risk during the migration.
- Once your repository is on the new hardware, and we’ve verified consistency, it will automatically return to its original read/write state.
- On average, each repository should take less than 10 minutes to migrate, but repositories with frequent updates may take longer (up to 30 min in rare cases).
Due to the nature of the migration, we are unable to provide specific timelines for when individual repos will be affected. However, we expect no more than a 10 minute disruption when your repository will be placed in read-only mode.
Thank you all for your patience and support! We are working hard to constantly build a better Bitbucket.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please come to firstname.lastname@example.org.