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We released a bug

  • Jan. 26, 2016
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About 1000 crashes on the Android Viking App due to a bug introduced after yesterday’s update. It went unnoticed during testing as it required a specific upgrade path. We will start using beta testers like we do on iOS and Windows before going live in order to avoid this. If you still experience issues, a reinstall of the app will fix everything.

Breakdown

Yesterday, an update for our beloved Viking App for Android went live and almost instantly we saw our reliability drop from 99.6% to 98.4%. Everything below 99 is not ok (we vow to keep it above 99% an on almost religious level) and with a user base that big, a drop this size means something is off. We are currently in the process of changing the Android codebase to make it more reliable (oh, the irony…) and maintainable. Because of this, we need to move certain parts of the code to newer ones and write migrations to transfer data from the old implementation to the new one. In one of these migration scripts we forgot to add a certain field, namely the primary SIM card number. This was already the case in the previous version of the Viking App, but there users were shown the SIM selector rather than have the app crash. Our colleagues at customer care will surely remember that one. Until today, we never found out why that happened.

Yesterday, an update for our beloved Viking App for Android went live and almost instantly we saw our reliability drop from 99.6% to 98.4%.

With yesterday’s update, we moved quite a huge chunk of code to the newer versions which caused a change in behavior. Rather than show the SIM selector, the Viking App crashed because the primary SIM card was not there (this is usually a bad thing in software development). Our Android developer acted rather swift to get to the bottom of this, and we released a fix around 5 PM. Due to the fact that we did not want anyone else having to deal with being logged out or other side effects because of a quick fix, we decided to do it properly (there’s a Viking behind the code). We responded on social media and the Play store to assist users who were affected (a reinstall fixes the issue) while we were working hard on resolving it (we care about what we do and feel responsible when we mess up).

Currently, version 2.10.1 contains a fix for most people, although we noticed there’s still an issue with certain cached primary SIM card numbers. We are working on a robust solution that will fix this forever. If you experience issues on the Android 2.10.1 version, we advise you to reinstall the Android Viking App.

In order to avoid issues like this, we will invite users to a beta track in the Play store where we can push updates before going live for all Vikings out there. On iOS and Windows we also do this as we do not have the capacity (never had for that matter) to test all the different scenario’s ourselves. This will allow us to fix critical issues like this up front, so we do not look like incompetent fools, which is basically what happens in that case. We will work with our Viking Lab friends to invite users and get things going.

Going forward, we’ll commit to our Vikings not to release apps with issues like this again by adjusting our workflow. If you want to help out, you are more than welcome to join the beta track by providing your Play store email address. As stated before, we can use all the man- and womanpower to provide the best possible Viking experience to our Vikings out there.

ByJan De Dobbeleer – App Team lead / Windows developer

Feel like becoming a beta tester? Register here and we’ll be in touch.

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