Decreasing Visual Debt in Blackfire Build Notifications

By Beau Simensen, on Sep 06, 2017
Do you use Slack? It’s a great tool for teams to communicate, and it also provides a great API so that other tools can send notifications. Like Blackfire.
The downside of such flexibility is you may end up with far too much information in your channels. That’s where it’s critical to show only relevant stuff. Remove the noise. Decrease Visual Debt.
When a project starts using Blackfire builds, the list of scenarios is usually small. This means that the build notifications are often quite short. It is quite easy to see what is going on.
However, as a project’s scenario list grows, the notifications become far less useful. We experienced ourselves that visual debt was piling up and we started to ignore the notifications.
So we decided to experiment with notifications that were less terse. Our focus for success notifications was to just say everything was good to go. Our focus for failure notifications was to only list the failing scenarios.
The result? We loved it.
We hope you’ll love it, too! That applies to Slack, Hipchat and Teams integrations!
Have you noticed this change already? How do you like this change? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

Beau Simensen

Beau Simensen (@beausimensen, has been a professional polyglot programmer since 1998. He is a Technical Product Manager at Blackfire and is co-host of That Podcast (@thatpodcast, An active open-sourcer, he created Sculpin ( and helped create Stack PHP ( Beau is a proponent of framework agnostic code. Unglue all the things!