Re: Imagining a sysadmin team

On Thu, 2003-10-30 at 11:56, Ross Golder wrote:
> Regarding Owen's post...
> Firstly, I think Owen has a good plan. I know from experience how messy
> things can get (have got in the GNOME case?) when everything is done
> ad-hoc, with no formal processes or documentation in place, and no
> single person to answer for any given service. Owen's idea for having a
> private CVS module/website to contain such documentation would be an
> ideal start in this area.

Done. (Details mailed to gnome-sysadmin; next order of business is
something for and a mail
describing how to get involved.)

> Secondly, I think that the sysadmin team should be broken down into
> subgroups, such as CVS services, web services, mail services, with each
> subgroup having a sheriff and a deputy. Sysadmin members could still
> discuss all the issues together on the one sysadmin list to pool all the
> ideas, and get some wider-ranging feedback, but it would ultimately be
> the responsibility of the group sheriff and/or their deputy to maintain
> the services in their particular area, and approve any related actions.
> This also creates a situation where sysadmin members can focus on a
> particular area of the GNOME services, so we can get the best out of
> them all, whilst remaining in the loop regarding the other areas. Again

A very good idea. Giving people ownership is the best way of keeping 
people excited and involved.

> Owen's idea to have an contact list containing phone numbers as well as
> on-line information would be useful here, as in an emergency, the
> sheriff (or failing that, the deputy) could be notified of a critical
> problem.

I hesitate to make the list of people who we list the phone numbers
for (even internally) larger than absolutely necessary - time zones and
other commitments means that not everybody that can contribute
meaningfully can do emergency maintenance. So, we might want to 
specify just a few people to do emergency fixes until the owner
has a chance to get to it.

> - Notifies the sysadmin mailing list, when they are going to take an
> extended leave from their computer, so that cover can be arranged.
> For example, I am a moderator for a couple of the GNOME mailing lists,
> and I'm going off-line on Saturday for a couple of days rest, during
> which time I will likely not be checking my e-mail. I've sent an e-mail
> to Michael Meeks and Elliot Lee (the other admins for the lists I
> moderate) to let them know. This step should probably be made part of a
> simple HOWTO/FAQ for other GNOME list moderators.
> At the end of the day, it's all just a matter of improving communication

You know, if the worst thing that happens is that mailing lists don't
get approvals for a couple of days, we'll be doing pretty well ;-)


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