The Reforge data team doesn’t require anyone to “carry a pager” and be available during certain periods to respond to issues at any time of day or night. That said, we do have a rotating responsibility for responding to slack forums and looking at alerts from our data observability tool, Metaplane.

One of the issues is that we ask people to be available for a week at a time to be the point person on responding to questions or issues that come up. We don’t expect everyone to be the one to fix / respond to an issue, but we ask that they be the point person to help move it forward.

I built a really simple reminder workflow in Slack to remind people of what they should be doing when they are in this role because it’s easy to forget. I thought I’d share how easy it was to setup and see if anyone had any other tools / processes they use.

We already had a google doc that listed the dates that each person was responsible for, and I built a quick mapping table that takes a person’s name and puts in their Slack id. It’s easy to get someone’s slack id.

The google doc has a row for each day, lists the person responsible, and their slack ID

I then built a workflow in Zapier that:

  • Runs every day at a standard time (12pm ET)
  • It checks to make sure that it’s a weekday (not a weekend)
  • It looks up the row in the spreadsheet for the current day
  • It only continues if there’s a slack ID for that person that day (if someone doesn’t want the reminders they can delete their slack id from the row)
  • It sends them a direct message on slack from a reminder bot

This is the DM that people get in Slack:

How do others in the data space ensure that the team rotates through different responsibilities, get reminded of what they’re supposed to do, and ensure they’re aware of how to do it? I don’t want to go full-blown pager service and this felt like the right level of reminder for our stage of company (the team has 5 analysts, a manager, a data engineer, and myself).