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Cool Tool: Monito

Paul Reinheimer May 28, 2021 Tools

Tracking down bugs in websites gets more complex every year. When I started programming for the web, Javascript was uncommon (jQuery was years out) and CGI scripts were plentiful. Recreating bugs was pretty easy: If you went back to the same webpage, and hit the same button, you’d probably get the same bug. You knew the browser was doing something because Netscape had that little animation going. Worst case you might need to set a cookie.

These days with client side processing, single page applications, and GeoIP (😁) things have gotten a lot harder. Luckily the tools are getting better too.

Monito is a neat new tool that records what your browser is up to: what you click on, what requests it makes, etc. It can take screenshots, or record your activity. Best of all it can export all of this in a handy format to make retracing your steps trivial.

Event recordings in Monito

They’ve even got a feature in beta to turn your recordings into an end-to-end test. Honestly I fell in love with it the first time I used it. The first time I saw the export feature I knew I needed to tell more people about it.

Logs exported from Monito

The export contains all the detailed information in the UI while you were recording, but in accessible formats, or as HTML you could show a team member. If you took screenshots, they’re marked in the logs so you know exactly when each one occurred.

[if we had a stock photography budget this is where we’d stick in a picture of two people at a computer looking interested, one of them would be pointing at the monitor convincingly]

Why I think this is worth $60

(We have no financial interest in Monito, I paid full price, and none of the links here are affiliate ones.)

  1. It provides me with a more clear view of what my browser is up to than any of the built in dev tools.
  2. The output it provides is more reliable than my memory (did I click on A then B, or C then B).
  3. The output is something I can share if I’m having a hard time digging into a bug myself.
  4. The network events log provides detailed information on what requests were actually being sent and received. This helps dig into issues like race conditions that may occur only some of the time, or for some users.

So the web has gotten so much more complicated since I started, but luckily tools like Monito are here to help make it easier! @ us on twitter and tell us your favourite tools, I’m always looking for new ones.

Paul Reinheimer

Developer, support engineer, and occasional manager. I enjoy working on new products, listening to customers, and forgetting to bill them. Also: co-founder.