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Software Team Support

1 Managing OSG Software Tickets

1.1 Incoming tickets (Operations staff)

When a ticket arrives at the GOC and the Operations staff member decides that the ticket should be assigned to the Software Team, the operations staff member will do two things:

  1. The ticket will be assigned to a pseudo-user called "Software".
  2. The "Next Action" fiel will be set to "SOFTWARE TRIAGE".
  3. The Software pseudo-user has an email list as it's "personal" email address. This is: osg-software-support-stream@opensciencegrid.org.

1.2 Triage duty (Software staff)

All OSG Software Team members who are at least 50% on the software team will share triage duty. Each week (Monday through Friday), there will be one person on triage duty. This person will be responsible for triage, which means:

  • Watching the software incoming tickets. If a ticket has not been assigned to a software team member, you assign it appropriately. You should check the queue at least twice a day. You only need to do this during your regular work hours. No weekend or holiday triage is required. The person for triage is responsible for triaging all incoming tickets that haven't be assigned. This includes tickets that arrived over the weekend or were not handled by the previous person on triage duty.
  • Handling incoming tickets where possible. Many tickets are common problems that most team members should be able to solve. For harder tickets, initial details (versions, logs, etc...) can be collected before passing the ticket to someone else.
  • Assigning incoming tickets to the most appropriate software team member as needed. Where appropriate, include people from other teams (i.e. security, operations, glidein...) Leave the "software" user assigned to the ticket.
  • Looking at assigned tickets. For tickets that are not being handled in a timely fashion, please remind the person that owns the ticket.

Please note: being on triage duty does not mean that you must personally solve all new tickets. It means that you handle the easy tickets and assign the other tickets appropriately.

Note that the software pseudo-user has an email address that is a mailing list: osg-software-support-stream@opensciencegrid.org. If you find it convenient, you can sign up for the mailing list to see all the incoming tickets. Alain recommends you do this during your triage duty, but you do not need to stay subscribed when you are not on triage duty.

All the currently opened tickets assigned to the software team can be seen here: GOC Open Tickets

1.2.1 Flow of tickets

Note that if you follow the above, we will end up with three assignees to each ticket. This is the overall flow:

  1. A ticket arrives at the GOC, either by email or via the ticket creator
  2. If the ticket arrives via email, then someone at the GOC manually makes a ticket out of it. It's not automatic.
  3. ASSIGNMENT #1: The ticket is assigned to a GOC member. They're in charge of ushering the ticket through it's whole lifetime, though for software tickets they won't do a whole lot on the technical work. Note that some software tickets may not be assigned to us, because they might assign them to the VO support center. This is good.
  4. ASSIGNMENT #2: The GOC member looks at the ticket and decides it's a software ticket. (They might do some upfront work if they can.) They then assign it to "Software Support (Triage)". We now have two people assigned to the ticket.
  5. When assigned to "Software Support (Triage)", all changes to the ticket are sent to <osg-software-support-stream@opensciencegrid.org>, so we leave this pseudo-person on the ticket. Watching the email to this mailing list is a nice (but optional) way for you to see what's happening when you're on triage duty.
  6. ASSIGNMENT #3: The person on triage duty assigns it to the right person from the software team. We now have three assignees:
    1. GOC member
    2. Software Support (Triage)
    3. The Software team member who will handle the ticket

1.3 Handling tickets

  • We need to take good care of our users. We are in a small community. Please be friendly and patient even when the user is frustrated or lacking in knowledge.
  • Always sign your ticket with your full name, so people know who is responding.
  • If it's easy for you, include a signature at the bottom of your response. Alain uses:
    ------------------------------------
    Alain Roy
    OSG Software Support
    vdt-support@opensciencegrid.org
  • Remember that you can tell people to use the osg-system-profiler to collect information. It can shorten the number of times you ask for information because it collects quite a bit for you.
  • If you run across a problem that has a chance of being hit by other users, consider:
    • Is there a bug we should fix in the software? Or something we could improve in the software?
    • Is there a way to improve our documentation?
    • Can you extend our troubleshooting documents to help people track this down more quickly? Consider the troubleshooting documents to be as much for us as for our users. Also note that as of this writing (February 2012) the troubleshooting documents are not yet deep. We can and should make them deeper.

1.4 Direct email vs. support

If someone emails you directly for support, you have the choice of when to move it to a ticket. The recommended criteria are:

  1. If it's easy to handle and you can definitely do it yourself, leave it in email.
  2. If there is a chance you can't do it in a timely fashion, or a chance that you might lose track of the ticket lose it, or a chance that you might need help from others, turn it into a ticket.
  3. If it's an unusual topic and other people would benefit from seeing the ticket (now or in the future), turn it into a ticket.

1.5 GOC ticket vs. JIRA

GOC Ticket is for user support. This is where we helping users debug, understand their problems, etc.

JIRA is for tracking our work. It's meant for internal usage, not for user support.

In general, users should not ask for support via JIRA. A single user support ticket might result in zero, one, or multiple JIRA tickets. The user ticket may be closed even though the related JIRA tickets are open. ("Hi, this is a bug that we can't fix for the next six months, but I've made an internal bug report you can see at ...")

2 OSG Software Team Experts

It's always a challenge to properly assign a ticket. Tickets are assigned to people who are available and have time. Preferably, tickets are assigned to people who have the right expertise.

The table below suggests people who have the expertise with certain areas. This does not mean that they get all tickets on those topics. It does mean that they are good candidates for harder tickets or as a reference to help you in handling a ticket.

Inasmuch as possible, you should strive to handle the easier tickets and not pass them off to other people. For reference, see our troubleshooting documents.

Area Person
osg-configure Suchandra
Globus, general issues Alain
Globus, GridFTP Doug, Neha
VOMS & Tomcat Tim
Bestman Neha and Doug
yum, RPM, installation Matyas
Pacman installation Scot
RSV Scot
Topic revision: r7 - 28 Jan 2014 - 20:57:35 - EdgarFajardo
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