All about the RelEng sheriff

Since February of this year we've had a rotating RelEng "sheriff" available. We started it to make a couple of things better:

  • Improve response time on critical issues
  • Avoid having the whole team distracted with infrastructure issues

By and large, this has been an improvement for us and we think, for developers as well. Serious issues are dealt with more quickly; developers and the developer sheriff have someone specific to go to with acute issues that come up. Internally, this has helped us focus more, too. With the RelEng sheriff dealing with triage and other acute issues the rest of us are able to focus on our other work without distraction.

What is the RelEng sheriff responsible for?

Who is the RelEng sheriff?

The RelEng sheriff is rotated weekly. You can find out who the current RelEng sheriff is by looking at the schedule.

How to get a hold of the RelEng sheriff

The best place to find them is on IRC, in #build or #developers. They should be wearing a '|buildduty' tag at the end of their nick. You can also get our attention in other ways, if IRC doesn't work for you:

Bugs and IRC pokes are the preferred methods but any will work. Also note that the RelEng sheriff is only around during their normal working day, which can be PDT/PST, EDT/EST, or NZDT/NZST. If a RelEng sheriff isn't around, someone can be reached in #build.

What can your sheriff do you for you?

The on-duty Releng Sheriff would be more than happy to do any of the following for you:

  • Trigger any sort of build or test run you need, including:
    • Extra unit test or Talos runs of any given build
    • Retriggering builds that fail for spurious reasons
  • Deal with any nightly updates that fail
  • Help debug possible build machine issues
  • Help debug test issues that you cannot reproduce yourself
  • Answer questions you may have about build or test infrastructure

The RelEng sheriff is also a good first-contact point for any other random things. They may be able to help you directly but if not, they can certainly point you to the person who can.

After reading this, I hope you have a better understanding of the who, what, and why of the RelEng sheriff. If anything is unclear or absent I'm happy to clarify.


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