On the 22nd of every month the GitLab engineers and Product Management team releases a new version of GitLab. Typically a new release triggers a spike in community mentions around the 22nd. To help deal with communication and the infulx of community mentions online, we have a dedicated release day DRI Advocate that owns the effort of keeping the advocates team up to date on new release information. This way the Advocates team can effectively involve experts in community mentions on/after a release.
The two channels that we see the biggest increases in mentions and discussions are:
The Release Day Advocate is different every time, and the responsibility rotates on a monthly basis. If the release day takes place on a weekend, one of the advocates is assigned to monitor traffic and to process mentions. We keep track of the monthly assignments on the Community Advocates team calendar.
On release day, the best place to go for relevant information is the #release-post Slack channel. The channel description of this channel is updated each month with links to the relevant release merge request, preview page, and review app.
Note: It is not the sole responsibility of the advocate DRI to take on all expert outreach and involvement for related release day mentions. Instead the DRI will serve as the main point of contact between release day managers and the Advocates team.
On the 15th of the month, a reminder message is generated using the Slack bot to the #advocates-fyi Slack channel, as a reminder for the Advocate DRI to review and take action on the following tasks.
Reach out to the Release Day Manager in the #release-post Slack channel to confirm they understand the expert outreach process, and to expect pings around the release from the community advocates. Use the following template as an example for outreach:
Hi @[release-post-manager] ! Just wanted to touch base here quick before release day - the advocates team will likely be reaching out to you on release day for support in responding to community members/engaging the right GitLab experts in our community response. Thanks! :smile: @advocates FYI
On release day, a reminder message is generated using the Slack bot to the #advocates-fyi Slack channel, as a reminder for the Advocates to watch for an increase in mentions, and to utilize the #release-post channel for expert outreach.
When working a Zendesk ticket that relates to release day, check the
Release Day box in the left pane of Zendesk before closing out the ticket. This will help the team determine how many Zendesk cases on release day are related to the release. The Community Advocates can leverage this information to ensure that Product Managers and release managers are able to help with cases on release day.
After each new release, a community member posts on HackerNews letting our community know we've had another release. This post, however, is usually pretty simplistic and provides little information at a glance. The Advocates team comes in and replies with a snippet of release day highlights, and links to the blog, so our users know what changes to look forward to.
Note: GitLab does not share the release blog post on HackerNews, but rather we wait for a community member to share the post and respond with a highlight comment to spark discussion and point people in the right direction..
Linkand copy the release day blog post URL in the
URLsection (the title will autofill)
Linksection, click the drop-down that says
Reach out to release day managers and relevant experts in the #release-post Slack channel with the following template for expert involvement.
Hi @expert_username! [LINK TO COMMUNITY COMMENT] An expert is needed to respond to this question/comment about the current release. Could you please answer on [name of social platform] using your own individual account? If you don't know the answer, could you share your thoughts and ping a specific release day expert who might? Thanks!
The advocate DRI will run a Zendesk report with the Release Day ticket data prior to the release retrospective meeting and deliver that information to stakeholders at the meeting.
Notes: If this meeting is not within Advocates working hours, it is fine to add notes and data to relevant retrospective issues instead.
Ticketstab, hover over the
Tickets Createdmetric and click the small dropdown arow that appears.
View this Report
Add Filterand choose the
Select from a List of Valuesoption. For the first attribute, choose
Release Day, and for the second attribute, select