We messed up. Earlier today, during finals week for many students and crucial end-of-year studying for others, we inadvertently broke Quizlet for about 6 hours. We know how much people rely on Quizlet, and how painful it is when it goes down. We work hard to make sure that planned downtime occurs when fewer students are using our service (late at night on a Friday, for example). Unfortunately, this downtime wasn't planned and therefore didn’t follow that pattern, and for that disruption in your studying or teaching, I want to apologize on behalf of everyone at Quizlet.
For the sake of transparency, I also wanted to give you a little more information on what happened, how we worked to bring Quizlet back online, and what we're doing to prevent this from reoccurring.
The problem occurred while we were applying some minor changes to our servers. A configuration error in our code caused every server in our network to stop working, thus bringing Quizlet entirely offline. We identified this issue immediately, and we organized our engineering team to rapidly re-build our servers from scratch. Because we continuously back up all of our data, we were able to fully restore Quizlet without any data loss. Quizlet went down at about 2pm Pacific time, and by 8pm we were serving traffic again. We’re still working on restoring some parts of the site, but the critical components are now working.
As a company, we help people practice and master whatever they’re learning. Today, we’re learning from this mistake, and ensuring it doesn’t happen again. It’s important to say that as a team, we don’t seek to blame people for mistakes. Rather, as we do for any unexpected problems, we’ll conduct a full and detailed review of the systems, processes, and tools that caused this failure, and develop ways to improve our ability to recover quickly.
Again, my sincere apologies, and on behalf of the entire Quizlet team, we wish you the best in your studies.
Andrew Sutherland, Founder and CTO