Five personalities you’ll meet in an Incident Chat

  • The Gawkers / Watchers:
    Drawn to the spectacle. The folks who show up at a house fire or slow down on the highway to look at a wreck on the other side. That may sound mean, but it’s not meant to be. We’ve all been there. Watchers are harmless so long as they don’t impede the troubleshooting and recovery activities. It’s good for them to be there, to learn the processes and prepare for when it’s their turn to engage in some future incident. Grab some 🍿and enjoy the show.
  • The Detective 🕵️:
    Looking for the root cause; the metaphorical “who done it?” Following leads in the form of errors; interrogating the logs and asking questions of the monitoring tools like suspects and witnesses. This person is tracing the symptoms back to their source. They’ll report findings which may help remediation but won’t stop digging until the culprit is known.
  • ER Doc 🩺:
    This person is an expert in triaging; assimilating lots of incoming info, asking questions and doling out actions rapid fire. Responding quickly by tackling the highest priorities first. The Product is the patient, the service outage is a critical wound, and the ER Doc is going to stabilize the situation ASAP.
  • Fire Fighter 🧑‍🚒:
    When things flare up this person shows up ready to contain the 🔥. They are the one that works on remediation. They take on the manual tasks like restarting servers or executing the steps in a run book. While they may be interested in what caused the fire their main focus is doing anything they can to put it out; taking direction on how best to do that.
  • The News Reporter 📰:
    Leadership and the wider org need updates as the incident progresses. The Reporter is there to listen and observe as the action unfolds, then summarize to all interested parties. Just like the winter storm team at a New England news station they’re periodically giving you the snow totals (impacted user counts), updates on road conditions (where is it getting better or worse), and letting you know the plows are still running (remediation activities).



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Adam Gelinas

Adam Gelinas

Software Engineer, Team Leader, Marathon Canoe Racer