Tinkergarten Resolves Sign-Up Error with Airbrake Occurrences

Tinkergarten is a Series-B tech-enabled network that brings high-quality early childhood education to a park near you. Designed for kids ages 18 months to 8 years old, Tinkergarten offers both an in-person and online curriculum that helps families get outside to make the most of their kids’ early learning years.


Within the first 12 hours of Tinkergarten launching a new free trial program, CTO Tim Broder, noticed that Airbrake had detected approximately 50 occurrences of new users that were unable to sign up for a free trial.

“We try to restrict it so you can only go to one free trial every season, but there was an error in that logic for a certain class of users that had not used Tinkergarten for 2 or 3 years. Those users came back because we had redone free trials, and everyone was excited to see what the new program was like.”

Once he realized the error, Tim needed to do two things: 

  1. Fix the error 
  2. Communicate with the customers impacted by this error


Tim used Airbrake to quickly resolve this error so the new users could sign up for a free trial. Once he fixed the error, he used Airbrake to mine raw occurrence data and extract user IDs. He then matched the user IDs to those in the customer management system to pull their emails and send an apology and update: “Hey, we noticed you were trying to get this free trial, we’re sorry, here’s a link to go get it, you should be good to go.” 


Tim was impressed with how quickly he was able to resolve the error using Airbrake.

“It is so helpful to be able to see stuff that is broken before customers start emailing. We have a pretty intense QA process, but with a user base of our size, the different products we offer, and time constraints, there’s always something that falls through the cracks. Being able to see an error the first time someone hits it, even if it’s just 5 minutes after the release goes live, and then quickly  hopping on to fix it before a board member, the CEO or a customer complains really is invaluable to us.”

About Tim

Tim Broder leads Technology at Tinkergarten, where he brings his love of getting beautiful products out into the world. Before joining Tinkergarden, Tim launched WAVE Meditation, a music meditation and hardware company, as well as Co-Founded Kidfund, a social savings app. Earlier in his career, he spent time at Lehman Brothers and several years at Cake & Arrow, learning about user-centric design with brands including Metlife, Mustela, Lowe’s, Schwinn, Cache, The New York Times, Topps, and GE. When he's not building things, you can find Tim Crossfitting, reading, or playing with his two boys in the suburbs.