Leverage Collaborative Screen Sharing With Datadog CoScreen | Datadog

Leverage collaborative screen sharing with Datadog CoScreen

Author Tom Sobolik

Published: October 19, 2022

Remote collaboration tools have transformed how remote and hybrid teams work synchronously. But while the current popular chat forum and video conferencing solutions are inarguably helpful, few were created with software development and operations in mind. CoScreen is the only real-time collaboration tool designed specifically for remote and hybrid engineering teams that integrate both interactive screen sharing and video conferencing features. By enabling engineering and product teams to seamlessly share and interact with each other’s application windows simultaneously, CoScreen meetings offer a productive environment for remote pair programming, technical onboarding, incident response, and more. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can use CoScreen to:

How does CoScreen work?

CoScreen enables you to create virtual meetings that collaborators can jump into and out of on the fly. Each meeting participant can communicate using high-resolution and low-latency screen sharing and voice chat, with the option to share video as well. Multiple participants can simultaneously share one or more application windows from their desktops in the meeting room, eliminating the cumbersome switching among individual screenshares that many video chat apps require. By using mouse and keyboard remote control as well as drawings and annotations in each other’s shared windows, collaborators can seamlessly connect their environments so that they can work together in real time. You can even copy and paste text directly among shared windows.

Starting—and reconvening—a CoScreen meeting is easy. CoScreen features built-in integrations with Slack and Google Calendar, as well as Datadog Incident Management, so you can kick off a new CoScreen meeting from a shared Slack channel, calendar invite, or incident page within Datadog. And CoScreen meetings persist even after everyone signs off, so you can organize them according to the topic and relevant stakeholders, and quickly launch them the next time they’re needed.

Write and debug code together remotely

CoScreen’s collaborative screen sharing is particularly useful for software developers because it enables developers to remotely share and edit code directly inside each other’s IDEs, share and interact with emulators, view each other’s command line output and local builds, and more. For example, let’s say a junior developer on your team is experiencing a bug they can’t figure out how to fix. A more senior developer can use a CoScreen meeting to jump directly into the junior developer’s environment and help them step through the code, find better breakpoints, audit their testing, review their code output, and ultimately help them improve their debugging to resolve the issue. All the while, the senior developer can share their own environment to review side-by-side.

In this way, CoScreen turns meetings into “doings.” With a direct, simultaneous view into each other’s development environments, collaborators can save time they would otherwise have wasted switching between one-way screen shares—or worse, communicating about complex engineering challenges via asynchronous chat threads.

Merge your desktop windows in a seamless screenshare to collaborate in real time

Onboard new teammates by interacting with their workspaces

When onboarding engineering team members, it can be time consuming and laborious to ensure that their development environments are correctly set up and that they have all the required permissions and access to shared resources. By using CoScreen for your onboarding meetings, you can plug directly into new teammates’ desktop environments to ensure that they have all the right dependencies installed and can access all the resources they need. For example, by viewing a new team member’s IDE over CoScreen, you can help them install and update software libraries, configure credentials for third-party tools, and set up their development environment by directly entering commands in their terminal.

View new hires' environments directly to facilitate faster onboarding

Seamlessly collaborate on incident response

In the heat of an incident, it’s paramount to communicate swiftly and efficiently, and collect as much information and expertise as possible in a single, accessible place. By using a CoScreen meeting as the incident command center or war room, your responders can quickly gather and share context from their respective environments, including relevant dashboards, log tails, code, SSH output from affected hosts, and more. CoScreen integrates with Datadog Incident Management, so you can create a new CoScreen meeting to work collaboratively on an incident immediately upon declaring it in Datadog.

For example, let’s say your team is responding to a security breach related to improper activity in a database. The lead responder first declares an incident in Datadog, appends the relevant runbooks, and creates a new CoScreen workspace designated for the incident. Hybrid and remote team members can quickly jump into the workspace directly from the incident page, as shown in the screenshot below, or by typing the dedicated Slack command (/datadog coscreen) in their team channel.

Pivot directly from a Datadog incident to a new CoScreen meeting

Once inside the space, responders can start simultaneously pulling up context, investigating, and remediating from a unified environment. They can use the Datadog Log Explorer to query for audit logs that describe database activity leading up to the breach, SSH into the database’s VMs to silo it off, rotate security keys, and filter through relevant dashboards to determine the scope of the breach’s impact. Because CoScreen helps them work together on forensics and remediation steps, the responders can resolve the incident swiftly and efficiently.

Synchronize your remote and hybrid teams

CoScreen makes it easier than ever for remote and hybrid engineering and DevOps teams to collaborate meaningfully in real time. By enabling team members to seamlessly sync their workspaces, CoScreen meetings save teams precious time and unnecessary back-and-forth to streamline debugging, incident response, technical onboarding, and more. For more information about CoScreen, see our documentation. CoScreen is generally available now—sign up via the CoScreen website. CoScreen’s integration with Datadog Incident Management is currently available as a private beta. Use this form to request access. Or, if you’re brand new to Datadog, sign up for a to get started.