Sentry with David Cramer


June 11th, 2016

1 hr 9 mins 27 secs

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About this Episode

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As developers we all have to deal with bugs sometimes, but we don’t have to make our users deal with them too. Sentry is a project that automatically detects errors in your applications and surfaces the necessary information to help you fix them quickly. In this episode we interviewed David Cramer about the history of Sentry and how he has built a team around it to provide a hosted offering of the open source project. We covered how the Sentry project got started, how it scales, and how to run a company based on open source.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
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  • We are also sponsored by Sentry this week. Stop hoping your users will report bugs. Sentry’s real-time tracking gives you insight into production deployments and information to reproduce and fix crashes. Check them out at and use the code podcastinit at signup to get a $50 credit!- Join our community! Visit for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing David Cramer about Sentry which is an open source and hosted service for capturing and tracking exceptions in your applications.

Interview with Firstname Lastname

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • What is Sentry and how did it get started? – Tobias
  • What led you to choose Python for writing Sentry and would you make the same choice again? – Tobias
  • Error reporting needs to be super light weight in order to be useful. What were some implementation challenges you faced around this issue? – Chris
  • Why would a developer want to use a project like Sentry and what makes it stand out from other offerings? – Tobias
  • When would someone want to use a different error tracking service? – Tobias
  • Can you describe the architecture of the Sentry project both in terms of the software design and the infrastructure necessary to run it? – Tobias
  • What made you choose Django versus another Python web framework, and would you choose it today? – Chris
  • What languages and platforms does Sentry support and how does a developer integrate it into their application? – Tobias
  • One of the big discussions in open source these days is around maintainability and a common approach is to have a hosted offering to pay the bills for keeping the project moving forward. How has your experience been with managing the open source community around the project in conjunction with providing a stable and reliable hosted service for it? – Tobias
  • Are there any benefits to using the hosted offering beyond the fact of not having to manage the service on your own? – Tobias
  • Have you faced any performance challenges implementing Sentry’s server side? – Chris
  • What advice can you give to people who are trying to get the most utility out of their usage of Sentry? – Tobias
  • What kinds of challenges have you encountered in the process of adding support for such a wide variety of languages and runtimes? – Tobias
  • Capturing the context of an error can be immensely useful in finding and solving it effectively. Can you describe the facilities in Sentry and Raven that assist developers in providing that information? – Tobias
  • It’s challenging to create an effective method for aggregating incoming issues so that they are sufficiently visible and useful while not hiding or discarding important information. Can you explain how you do that and what the evolution of that system has been like? – Tobias
  • I notice a lot of from future import in Sentry. Does it support Python 3 and/or what’s the plan for getting there? – Chris
  • Looking back to the beginning of the project, what are some of the most interesting and surprising changes that have happened during its lifetime? How does it differ from its original vision? – Tobias

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA