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Science! Science Harder!

Science! Science Harder!

How we reinvented ourselves to be data literate, experiment-driven, and ship faster.

Presented by Laura Thomson and Rebecca Weiss at Monitorama 2017

Laura Thomson

May 23, 2017

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  1. Science! Science Harder! How we reinvented ourselves to be data

    literate, experiment-driven, and ship faster Rebecca Weiss & Laura Thomson (@lxt) {rweiss, laura}@mozilla.com
  2. Science! Science Harder! How we are reinventeding ourselves to be

    data literate, experiment-driven, and ship faster Rebecca Weiss & Laura Thomson (@lxt) {rweiss, laura}@mozilla.com
  3. Data is bad. It’s bad. And you’re bad for wanting

    it. You carry only 3 things as you enter the wilderness: 1. Downloads 2. Blocklist pings 3. Crash data (kept in a monastery, guarded by ninjas)
  4. ! Did this code change affect retention? ! Are we

    regressing on Firefox performance? ! Is crashiness getting worse or better? ! How often do our users experience janky behavior? ! How many active users do we have, anyway?
  5. =

  6. Failure to abstract Build system to answer question. Answer the

    question! Yay! Ask more questions. Fail. Build new measurement system.
  7. ! Blocklist ping ◦ Disables badness (default on, for your

    protection) ! Telemetry (v1) ◦ Aggregate performance measurement (default off) ! Firefox Health Report ◦ Very limited individual-level longitudinal measurement (default on) ◦ Extended individual-level longitudinal measurement (default off) ! Crash stats ◦ Crash details (default off) Measuring by accident, reluctantly
  8. Enabling a data culture Based on scientific principles Embrace data

    consistency and reliability over precision Prioritize self-service over personalized tools Build a badass experimental platform ASAP
  9. Unified Telemetry One infrastructure, many types of probes and pings

    Many types of events to measure One good system vs many half baked Unify mental models One set of infrastructure quirks One set of errors By Mike Wutzler AKA Darth Mike (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/ copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/ 3.0/) or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons
  10. !re:dash: automatic dashboarding for simple requests !Airflow: monitoring and job

    scheduling for dataset creation !Spark and Parquet: standardized analytical model and data format !Presto: SQL access to many data sets !And more... Now
  11. Transparency = citation needed Results must be reproducible as a

    URL Audit a number all the way down to the code Enforce transparent model of work Open science, open methodology https://xkcd.com/285/ Transparency = [citation needed]
  12. Previously: Funnelcakes Telemetry experiments Test Pilot (Mark I) Weird science

    By The original uploader was Lorax at English Wikipedia (Taken by user Lorax and released under the GNU FDL) [GFDL (http://www.gnu. copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
  13. These kind of sucked: High barriers to entry Inconsistent measurement

    approaches Not production-y Science needs to be open
  14. Part of core Firefox, modularized into add- ons Build/test against

    existing Firefox builds Update via xpi, independent of Fx Update up to daily (for now) on any release channel (Not really an experimental mechanism) System add-ons Photo by Francesco Lodolo, l10n team.
  15. Mark II Test Pilot Users opt-in to install and try

    whole new features with extended measurement Successful features graduate to Firefox - e.g. Firefox Screenshots More: https://testpilot.firefox.com/
  16. Real sampling! Flip a preference, install a new feature, collect

    data Multiple experiments in flight at once SHIELD Studies