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What not to do, part 1

One of the things I got for Christmas was a Tile. I was rather excited about this gift since my daughters have a predeliction for taking/moving my stuff and then claiming ignorance when I'm stomping around the house looking for it. With a Tile, I should be able to locate my keys and wallet with a minimum of wasted time and aggravation.

At least, in theory.

So I immediately unwrap one of the two Tiles I received, put it on my keychain, downloaded the requisite app onto my phone, and started the setup process. The first step is to put in an email address. Great! Did that. Click! And wait for the confirmation email to come through.

And wait. And wait.

It never came. That evening, I clicked "Resend". The next day, I clicked "Resend" again. Nothing.

So here's my theory on what's going on there. Apparently their server is so overloaded that all it can manage is to collect the emails that should be going out. Tile's outgoing SMTP server is completely bogged down or something. Or, and this would be completely annoying, they have some algorithm that screens out certain email servers and addresses, such that my email address gets screened out. The flip side of that is that I have, sometime over the last 20 years, set up a filter on my email server that is now screening out their outgoing SMTP server.

I don't think it's a filter on my side. I actually believe they so poorly planned for the Christmas season that their server is getting killed. And that's the reason for this entry.

If you're going to build a service, aim high. Plan for a huge response. Do NOT assume your REST/SOAP service, with enough framework acronyms to choke a horse, is just cool enough to do the job. Do plenty of stress testing, volume testing, and fuzz testing to ensure that you know exactly how much traffic it can handle. Because the number one thing that turns people off is when their cool new toy doesn't work because the supporting network architecture that makes the toy possible chokes out.

Also, make sure your "Customer Care" page exists. Tile's doesn't. Dammit.

For my part, I'm going to see if I can locate a support number in the documentation that came with the device... Merry [expletive] Christmas...


Todd Grigsby