Designed for, and built by remote teams

Our development team in India is under a national lock-down due to Covid-19, and we had been worried about a loss of productivity.

After a week of lock-down we have been checking with each person, and it turns out there was no cause for worry, especially from those who had the foresight to grab an extra monitor before leaving their office.

In fact, we expect that our team will ask for work-from-home as a regular work model even after the virus is gone.

Kerika is designed for, and built by remote teams!

We have started beta testing Kerika for mobile devices

We have enough of our new mobile version built that we have started doing beta tests with a handful of users from around the world. Initial feedback has been very positive.

We expect to stay in beta mode for another few weeks and then make the mobile version available to all our users.

There will be no app to install: you will be able to use your Safari, Chrome or Firefox browser on your phone.

Try to help the Government, get slapped.

Kerika has been a sponsor of the Lean Transformation Conference every year, since the very first conference. In addition to contributing sponsor fees, our founder and CEO, Arun Kumar, has given a presentation each year, on different topics related to the conference.

At the last conference (in October 2019), Arun gave a talk on Virtual Teams: what’s different about a virtual team vs. a traditional collocated team, and how a virtual team can be very successful if it adopts the right processes and tools. A total of 117 people attended, and 55% of them rated the presentation as “Very Useful” or “Extremely Useful”.

Kerika also paid for a professional videographer to film the presentation so it could be made available online for others.

The topic of Virtual Teams is particularly important today because the Covid-19 virus has hit the state of Washington hardest (in the US), and everyone, including the government employees are scrambling to adjust to telework.

You might think that the video would be particularly helpful to the state right now, since it covered precisely those topics that the state (and much of the world) is grappling with today:

The video that was…

Imagine our surprise then to receive, out of the blue, this takedown notice:

The video that wasn’t…

So the video is gone. A small business tried to help the state of Washington, but won’t try again.

Updates to our Privacy Policy

We are making some changes to our Privacy Policy to get ready for some new analytics work we are planning to do. Here’s a summary of what’s changing, and why.

Using Amplitude for Product Analytics

We will use Amplitude to help us understand better how our users actually use Kerika, so that we can make better product decisions. In order to use Amplitude’s analytics, we need to send this information to their servers:

  1. An internal Kerika User ID: it is not your name, email or any other personal information.
  2. A device ID: this identifies each session, and doesn’t include any personal information either.
  3. Events (mouse clicks) that take place when someone uses Kerika: they tell us which parts of the Kerika software are being used, how often, and in which sequence.

Here’s an example:

Amplitude data

On the left side of this screen we can see that this user has been creating a series of boards, and that that our server had a fast response each time. We can see from the right side this was in California; if someone else were to complain about Kerika being slow, we could determine if it is a regional problem or a global one.

We have signed a strong protection agreement with Amplitude to protect our users’ privacy; you can find it online here.

Using Sentry for Error Tracking

We use Sentry to help us track and debug errors because we want to fix every single error that occurs, even when users don’t notice anything. (Which they don’t, 95% of the time .)

Using Sentry helps Kerika log every single thing that goes wrong. Here’s an example:

Example of Sentry Error
Example of Sentry Error

This example is of a temporarily broken connection. No one actually complained because Kerika restores connections automatically, but it’s still useful for us to know where inside the Kerika app the error was detected (the URL), and the context of the user:

  • IP Location helps us understand whether there is a regional problem or a global one.
  • Browser and operating system is very helpful in debugging problems that lurk within specific browser versions. In this example, the user is using a very outdated version of Firefox (v68 instead of v73).

Using Google for Website Analytics

This hasn’t changed in years, but we thought we would reiterate it here so you have a complete picture of your privacy protections. We use Google Analytics to help us understand how people find us and which parts of the website are browsed most often.

It turns out that even though we have over a hundred website pages, just a few ever get visited. Oh, well.