Last year we started a series of behind-the-scenes posts that lift the curtain on the inner life of JetBrains. This time we’re going to tell you about the YouTrack story, which is just as interesting as the previous one. AppCode
The bug tracker from JetBrains added to the company’s “portfolio” in 2009. Initially it was proudly called Charisma. Unfortunately, the company failed to register the name – the trademark was occupied, as it often happens. This led to a series of brainstorming sessions to find the most appropriate name reflecting the essence of the new product.
Charisma, however, relieved developers of the burden of choosing codnames, and since then, the product team has taken character qualities and human emotions as the basis for choosing codnames. We told you more about codnames here Although the official name has long been found, some of our developers continue to affectionately call the bug tracker “Charisma”.
What is in my name to you?
The process of discussing and choosing a name was quite fun and memorable, and the JetBrains team sometimes looks back on those times with a smile and excitement.
The first round of discussions proved fruitless in terms of finding and approving any name. The flow of name choices bordered on the imaginative, with incredible suggestions: Periscope, Switchman, CtrlWhatever, Bugyard, Stalker.
The team and sympathizers went through a good chunk of the insect and bird world, trying to play around with the ideas of “captured bugs” and “something that tracks those bugs” among all the Earth’s biodiversity. Encyclopedias and reference books were not ignored. Among the choices were : hummingbird, woodpecker, yaffil, InsectiJ, BugBear, Colibri.
The name came suddenly, when a member of the YouTrack team suggested that the verb “attract”, consonant with “track”, be used as a starting point. As before, the team went through a large number of options, including Attracktion, Trackoo, JackTrack, TicTrack, and Trackit. But the winner was determined as soon as the simple and succinct name – YouTrack.
We soon found a little inconvenience: at first, developers noticed that with the appearance of YouTrack among their tools they had to get used to an extra set of letters in the address bar of the browser – otherwise they “landed” on YouTube instead of YouTrack. Fortunately, this didn’t create any serious obstacles for our bug tracker.
YouTrack takes shape
When the product name was officially approved, the designers began to actively work on the product logo. As with many existing JetBrains products, the YouTrack logo was originally intended to be based on the letters Y and T. Like IntelliJ IDEA, for example.
But during the creative process, the designers, probably inspired by the name selection process, suggested they consider the idea of a non-letter logo.
The starting point in creating the logo was the idea of tracking, catching and destroying bugs in the development process. For more than 60 years it has been customary to call bugs in a program or in a system bugs (i.e., insects, bugs). In this connection, the following “all-seeing eye” designs were originally proposed: a magnifying glass, an eye, a combination of a magnifying glass and an eye, a “binocular bird”, a “big-eyed bird”.
The magnifying glass helps to look out for bugs, but not to catch them, much less destroy them. But the “big-eyed bird”, which looks out for bugs and catches them, quite accurately embodied the idea of the YouTrack product itself. So the idea of the bird seemed more interesting to the designers for further elaboration than variations with a magnifying glass.
When the “big-eyed bird” became the clear leader among the other options, the designers set about choosing the optimum color combination. Orange, the company’s through-color used in all product logos, was mandatory. In addition to that, the blue ended up beating the gray because it was much brighter. See for yourself :
In the last stage, the designers had to decide on the position of the bird: standing on his feet, the bird in motion, the bird in flight :
Working through the idea of an “all-seeing product” in even more depth, the designers settled on a bird hovering in the air that tracks all bugs in flight and eliminates them.
That’s how we ended up with a big-eyed bird named YouTrack, which quickly settled in and took root at JetBrains. Look at its incarnation, made by one of the YouTrack team’s developers:
And here’s one of our latest exclusive punk bird t-shirts :
The YouTrack story is just beginning. The charismatic big-eyed bird will please you in the future.
Create with pleasure!
– JetBrains team