Orientation - SOP
Owner: Fedora Infrastructure Team
Contact: #fedora-admin, sysadmin-main
Purpose: Provide basic orientation and introduction to the sysadmin group
Fedora's Infrastructure team is charged with keeping all the lights on, improving pain points, expanding services, designing new services and partnering with other teams to help with their needs. The team is highly dynamic and primarily based in the US. This is only significant in that most of us work during the day in US time. We do have team members all over the globe though and generally have decent coverage. If you happen to be one of those who is not in a traditional us time zone you are encouraged to be around, especially in #fedora-admin during those times when we have less coverage. Even if it is just to say "I can't help with that but $ADMIN will be and he should be here in about 3 hours".
The team itself is generally friendly and honest. Don't be afraid to disagree with someone, even if you're new and they're an old timer. Just make sure you ask yourself what is important to you and make sure to provide data, we like that. We generally communicate on irc.freenode.net in #fedora-admin. We have our weekly meetings there and its the quickest way to get in touch with us. Secondary to that we use the mailing list. After that its our ticketing system and talk.fedoraproject.org.
Welcome to the team
Often times this is the biggest reason for turnover in our group. Some groups like sysadmin-web and certainly sysadmin-main require a huge time commitment. Don't be surprised if you see people working between 10-30 hours a week on various tasks and thats the volunteers. Your time commitment is something personal to each individual and its something that you should take some serious thought about. In general it's almost impossible to be a regular part of the team without at least 5-10 hours a week.
Also note, if you are going to be away, let us know. As a voulnteer we can't possibly ask you to always be around all the time. Even if you're in the middle of a project and have to stop let us know. Nothing is worse then thinking someone is working on something or will be around and they're just not. Really, we all understand, got a test coming up? Busier at work then normal? Going on a vacation? It doesn't matter, just let us know when you're going to be gone and what you're working on so it doesn't get forgotten.
Additionally don't forget that its worth it to discuss with your employer about giving time during work. They may be all for it.
This is possible one of the most difficult aspects of getting involved with our team. We can't just give access to everyone who asks for it and often actually doing work without access is difficult. Some of the best things you can do are:
- Keep bugging people for access. It shows you're comitted.
- Go through bugs, look at stale bugs and close bugs that have been fixed
- Try to duplicate bugs on your workstation and fix them there
Above all stick with it. Part of proving yourself is also to show the time commitment it actually does take.
Once you've been sponsored for a team its generally your job to find what work needs to be done in the ticketing system. Be proactive about this. The tickets can be found at:
When you find a ticket that interests you contact your sponsor or the ticket owner and offer help. While you're getting used to the way things work, don't be offput by someone saying no or you can't work on that. It happens, sometimes its a security thing, sometimes its a "I'm half way through it and I'm not happy with where it is thing." Just move on to the next ticket and go from there.
Also don't be surprised if some of the work involved includes testing on your own workstation. Just setup a virtual environment and get to work! There's a lot of work that can be done to prove yourself that involves no access at all. Doing this kind of work is a sure fire way to get in to more groups and get more involved. Don't be afraid to take on tasks you don't already know how to do. But don't take on something you know you won't be able to do. Ask for help when you need it and keep in contact with your sponsor so you know
Everything we do gets done in puppet. We have a separate SOP for puppet at Infrastructure/SOP/Puppet It is important that you not make changes directly on servers. This is for many reasons but always make changes in puppet. If you want to get more familiar with puppet, set it up yourself and give it a try. The docs are available at http://reductivelabs.com/trac/puppet/wiki/DocumentationStart
Most of our work is done via bastion.fedoraproject.org. That host has access to our other hosts, many of which are all over the globe. We have a vpn solution setup so that knowing where the servers physically are is only important when troubleshooting things. We also have an architecture repo available in our git repo. To get a copy of this repo just:
yum install git git clone git://git.fedorahosted.org/fedora-infrastructure.git/
This will allow you to look through (and help fix) some of our scripts as well as have access to our architectural documentation. Become familiar with those docs if you're curious. There's always room to do better documentation so if you're interested just ping your sponsor and ask about it.