“Being oncall sucks. But it doesn’t have to!” We all heard this one before. Why is it though, that oncall still remains the biggest scar for many? What can a modern Engineering org do to rein the oncall dragons, and actually help people grow as professionals as they go oncall?
In this talk, I will present the main reasons why oncall is difficult in modern orgs, and describe ways to mitigate these hardships. The idea is that oncall is often the ‘backroom’ of an org, where all the technical and organizational debt take their toll. Be it unwieldy systems or broken processes between teams, oncall checks all the ‘weak boxes’. Therefore, the only way to win at oncall is to sort out your debts, starting with the organizational ones.
I will dive into the detail of the oncall rotation at Snyk as the org scaled from 1 to 220 people, what worked well about it, and what was less than perfect. I will discuss the decisions made to turn oncall into a building block of the org, and show a path to rein oncall in your organization as well.