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Charity Majors+ Your Authors @mipsytipsy CTO @honeycombio; co-wrote Database Reliability Engineering; loves whiskey, rainbows. I test in production and so do you. 🌈🖤Black Lives Matter🖤 Apr. 27, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

Reading this thread and having two main thoughts:

1) wtf is a production feedback cycle? I thought that's what being oncall *was*? you're throwing in a ton of extra words that leave me way more confused than I was to start with. 😣

2) well, this is progress.

Five years or so when I started talking about this regularly, I got some of the most vicious replies of my career. We've come a long way since then towards broad acceptance of the core principle: developers should support their code in production, and that means feedback loops.

I never understood "developers should be on call" to be mean "every engineer should carry the pager for an equal number of hours, day and night". on call is about crafting and curating feedback loops, that's all.

I've had engineers who were too anxiogenic or insomniac to participate in overnight availability. I've had engineers with newborns often enough to have evolved a strict, "only one thing should wake you up at a time, baby or production" rule

and as i've said many, many times, this is a two way street. if you're asking engineers to own production, it is management's absolute responsibility to make sure that it *does not suck* -- is not something you have to plan your life around. even at the cost of product work.

if you're on call and your manager doesn't treat it like a five alarm fire if you get paged outside business hours, you deserve a better job, and i hope (once covid is over) that you will vote with your feet and find one.

it is not ok to prop up your service's availability with the lifeblood of your engineering team.

not.
ok.

all that said, saying "putting devs oncall is a privileged, effective, and unimaginative way to implement a production feedback cycle" puts my hackles up a bit.

you're gonna have to differentiate between what is different between what you think i'm saying and what you're saying.

i super agree, i would love to hear more creative examples of real world rotations that are equitable, don't burn anyone out disproportionately, help everyone level up and learn, and don't involve a traditional rotation.

feedback loops are hard and tricky and eternally custom.


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