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Health Group

Backend Team members

Person Role
New Vacancy - Matt Nohr (Interim) Engineering Manager, Monitor:Health
Peter Leitzen Senior Backend Engineer, Monitor:Health
Sarah Yasonik Backend Engineer, Monitor:Health
Vitali Tatarintev Senior Backend Engineer, Monitor:Health
Allison Browne Backend Engineer, Monitor:Health
Sean Arnold Backend Engineer, Monitor:Health

Frontend Team members

Person Role
Clement Ho Frontend Engineering Manager, Monitor:Health
Tristan Read Frontend Engineer, Monitor:Health
Laura Montemayor Frontend Engineer, Monitor:Health
Olena HK. Senior Frontend Engineer, Monitor:Health

Stable counterparts

Person Role
Achilleas Pipinellis Technical Writer, Create, Package, Monitor, Secure, Defend
Amelia Bauerly Product Designer, Monitor & Package
Sofia Vistas Software Engineer in Test, Monitor
Sarah Waldner Senior Product Manager, Monitor:Health
Nadia Sotnikova Product Designer, Monitor
Matthew Nearents Senior Product Designer, Monitor
Kevin Chu Group Manager, Product, Monitor

Responsibilities

This team maps to the Health Group category and focuses on:

Repos we own or use

Issue boards

Development Processes

Surfacing blockers

To surface blockers, mention your Engineering Manager in the issues, and then contact them via slack and or 1:1's. Also make sure to raise any blockers in your daily async standup using Geekbot.

The engineering managers want to make unblocking their teams their highest priority. Please don't hesitate to raise blockers

Scheduling

Scheduling issues in milestones

The Product Manager is responsible for scheduling issues in a given milestone. During the backlog grooming portion of our weekly meeting, all parties will make sure that issues are scoped and well-defined enough to implement and whether they need UX involvement and/or technical investigation.

As we approach the start of the milestone, Engineering Managers are responsible for adding the ~deliverable label to communicate which issues we are committing to finish in the given milestone. Generally, the Engineering Manager will use the prioritized order of issues in the milestone to determine which issues to label as ~deliverable. The Product Manager will have follow-up conversations with the Engineering Managers if the deliverables do not meet their expectations or if there are other tradeoffs we should make.

Scheduling bugs

When new bugs are reported, the engineering managers ensure that they have proper Priority and Severity labels. Bugs are discussed during our backlog grooming session and are scheduled according to severity, priority, and the capacity of the teams. Ideally, we should work on a few bugs each release regardless of priority or severity.

Weekly async issue updates

Every Friday, each engineer is expected to provide a quick async issue update by commenting on their assigned issues using the following template:

<!---
Please be sure to update the workflow labels of your issue to one of the following (that best describes the status)"
- ~"workflow::In dev"
- ~"workflow::In review"
- ~"workflow::verification"
- ~"workflow::blocked"
-->
### Async issue update
1. Please provide a quick summary of the current status (one sentence).
1. When do you predict this feature to be ready for maintainer review?
1. Are there any opportunities to further break the issue or merge request into smaller pieces (if applicable)?

We do this to encourage our team to be more async in collaboration and to allow the community and other team members to know the progress of issues that we are actively working on.

Interacting with community contributors

Community contributions are encouraged and prioritized at GitLab. Please check out the Contribute page on our website for guidelines on contributing to GitLab overall.

Within the Monitor stage, Product Management will assist a community member with questions regarding priority and scope. If a community member has technical questions on implementation, Engineering Managers will connect them with engineers within the team to collaborate with.

Using spikes to inform design decisions

Engineers use spikes to conduct research, prototyping, and investigation to gain knowledge necessary to reduce the risk of a technical approach, better understand a requirement, or increase the reliability of a story estimate (paraphrased from this overview). When we identify the need for a spike for a given issue, we will create a new issue, conduct the spike, and document the findings in the spike issue. We then link to the spike and summarize the key decisions in the original issue.

Assigning MRs for code review

Engineers should typically ignore the suggestion from Dangerbot's Reviewer Roulette and assign their MRs to be reviewed by a frontend engineer or backend engineer from the Monitor stage. If the MR has domain specific knowledge to another team or a person outside of the Monitor Stage, the author should assign their MR to be reviewed by an appropriate domain expert. The MR author should use the Reviewer Roulette suggestion when assigning the MR to a maintainer.

Advantages of keeping most MR reviews inside the Monitor Stage include:

Preparing UX designs for engineering

Product designers generally try to work one milestone ahead of the engineers, to ensure scope is defined and agreed upon before engineering starts work. So, for example, if engineering is planning on getting started on an issue in 12.2, designers will assign themselves the appropriate issues during 12.1, making sure everything is ready to go before 12.2 starts.

To make sure this happens, early planning is necessary. In the example above, for instance, we'd need to know by the end of 12.0 what will be needed for 12.2 so that we can work on it during 12.1. This takes a lot of coordination between UX and the PMs. We can (and often do) try to pick up smaller things as they come up and in cases where priorities change. But, generally, we have a set of assigned tasks for each milestone in place by the time the milestone starts so anything we take on will be in addition to those existing tasks and dependent on additional capacity.

The current workflow:

Repos we own or use

Service accounts we own or use

Zoom sandbox account

In order to develop and test Zoom features for the integration with GitLab we now have our own Zoom sandbox account.

Requesting access

To request access to this Zoom sandbox account please open an issue providing your non-GitLab email address (which can already be associated an existing non-GitLab Zoom account).

The following people are owners of this account and can grant access to other GitLabbers:

Granting access

  1. Log in to Zoom with your non-GitLab email
  2. Go to User Management > Users
  3. Click on Add User
  4. Specify email addresses
  5. Choose User Type - most likely Pro
  6. Click Add - the users receive invitations via email
  7. Add the linked name to the list in "Requesting access"

Documentation

For more information on how to use Zoom see theirs guides and API reference.

Async Daily Standups

The purpose of our async standups is to allow every team member to have insight into what everyone else is doing and whether anyone is blocked and could use help. This should not be an exhaustive list of all of your tasks for the day, but rather a summary of the major deliverable you are hoping to achieve. All question prompts are optional. We use the geekbot slack plugin to automate our async standup in the #g_monitor_standup_health channel. Every team member should be added to the async standup by their manager.

Recurring Meetings

While we try to keep our process pretty light on meetings, we do hold a Monitor Health Backlog Grooming meeting weekly to triage and prioritize new issues, discuss our upcoming issues, and uncover any unknowns.

Deliverable Labels

In our group, the (frontend + backend) engineering managers are responsible for adding the ~deliverable label to any issues that the team is publicly stating that to the best of their ability, they expect that issue to be completed in that milestone. We are not perfect but our goal is that 100% of the issues with that label do ship in the release that they are scheduled in. This allows engineering to share what issues they commit to and helps set expectations for the product manager and for the community.

Frontend Scheduling

Our goal is to move towards a continuous delivery model such that the team completes tasks on a weekly basis. In our weekly meetings, we prioritize grooming our backlog to prioritize specific issues that are ready for development. Every release, the product manager will collaborate with the team to identify notable features that we want implemented. These issues will be shared in the product kickoff call and will have a frontend engineer assigned to them before the development milestone starts.

The development of these assigned issues should not typically last the entire release cycle. Once frontend engineers have completed their assigned issue, they are expected to go to the Health issue board and assign themselves to the next unassigned issue in the list that has the frontend and workflow:ready for development labels. The issues in the board are prioritized based on importance (the lower they are on the list, the lower the priority). In the event that all issues are assigned for that milestone, frontend engineers are expected to assign themselves to issues on the next milestone on the issue board list.

Monitor Stage PTO

Just like the rest of the company, we use PTO Ninja to track when team members are traveling, attending conferences, and taking time off. The easiest way to see who has upcoming PTO is to run the /ninja whosout command in the #g_monitor_standup slack channel. This will show you the upcoming PTO for everyone in that channel.