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Proposal: selection process for Shadows #368

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jberkus opened this Issue Nov 14, 2018 · 15 comments

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jberkus commented Nov 14, 2018

The Problem:

RT Section Lead/Shadow is a mentorship relationship, but we have not been treating it as one. Instead of having a process to select the most suitable mentees for a given cycle, we simply accept anyone who volunteers before a certain deadline, up to four shadows per lead. This has resulted in leads having too many shadows for them to manage, and shadows not being mentored for the role they are shadowing. Further, we have contributors volunteering to shadow without any clear idea of what they're committing to or what the requirements and expectations are.

The Proposal:

We should have a semi-formal selection process, which should work as follows:

  1. shadow applicant applies for their shadow position using a specific questionnaire for the shadow role. A draft template for these questionnaires follows.
  2. the section lead and the RT Lead (or shadow) review the questionnaires and pick the candidates with the necessary time availability and other requirements for the role.
  3. the section lead and the RT Lead have a brief chat with each qualified candidate (by slack, video, or other convenient mechanism) to select for mentorship match.
  4. The section lead and RT lead pick the final Shadows for that RT.

As a prerequisite to this, it would also be good to establish guidelines on how many shadows are the maximum practical for a given role. For example, CI signal can't really make use of more than 2 shadows, but Docs is capable of keeping up to 4 shadows busy.

This also begs the question of whether we should have a process for selecting section leads. To date, one hasn't seemed necessary because, unlike shadows, we have a shortage rather than a surplus of volunteers, and generally all section leads are well-known from prior release teams.

draft template for shadow questionnaire

You have asked to be a role Shadow for the ver Release Team. This questionnaire is to determine how well you match the position's requirements, and to give you an idea what's involved. In cases where there are too many applicants for a particular role, it may also be used to decide who is selected this release cycle. Please note that you are expected to be inexperienced in some areas, as Shadow is a mentored role.

  1. The role handbook [link] defines the tasks and responsibilities of the role for this release cycle. Are you prepared to assist in fulfilling these duties? Please read the full handbook before answering.

  2. role Shadow requires a substantial time commitment, especially
    during busy_period (dates). This can be more than time requirement, and may include attending video meetings at inconvenient times. Is this time you can commit to?

Example: Issues/PR Triage requires a substantial time commitment, especially during the 2nd half of the release cycle (Nov. 5 to Dec. 5). This can be more than an hour a day, and may include attending video meetings at inconvenient times. Is this time you can commit to?

(optional)
2.a. role Shadow also requires additional requirement. Is this something you are comfortable with?

Example: Release Notes Shadow also requires editing and rewriting release notes, in English, to make them clearer and more accurate. Is this something you are comfortable with?

  1. Do you have any schedule conflicts during this release cycle (dates), such as vacations, school, or intense periods of work, that would make you unavailable for more than a couple of workdays?

  2. The purpose of shadowing is to train new Release Team members.
    Assuming that your job or life situations don't change between now and
    then, are you willing to volunteer for the role Lead for ver+1 or
    ver+2? This usually requires support from your employer, as you will
    probably need to do release work during work hours.

  3. What's your current experience and involvement with related_SIG_if_any and area_of_expertise?

Example: What's your current experience and involvement with SIG-Testing, and automated tests in general?

  1. Are you already a Kubernetes Org member?

  2. Have you applied to, or served on, a prior release team? Please give details.

  3. What time zone are you usually in?

  4. Any comments on what interested you in this role and the release team?

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jberkus commented Nov 14, 2018

/kind design
/priority important-soon

cc
@tpepper @justaugustus @calebamiles @spiffxp

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justaugustus commented Nov 14, 2018

I'll take a swing at a PR for this.
/assign

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justaugustus commented Nov 14, 2018

(For the record, I'm +1 for this!)

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justaugustus commented Nov 20, 2018

Spoke with @idvoretskyi and we'll plan to generate a SurveyMonkey survey for the questionnaire. I was originally thinking Google Forms, but the SurveyMonkey route should be more inclusive.

Won't be able to tackle this until after Thanksgiving though. This week is ruff.
/woof

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k8s-ci-robot commented Nov 20, 2018

@justaugustus: dog image

In response to this:

Spoke with @idvoretskyi and we'll plan to generate a Survey monkey survey for the questionnaire. I was originally thinking Google Forms, but the SurveyMonkey route will be more inclusive.

Won't be able to tackle this until after Thanksgiving though. This week is ruff.
/woof

Instructions for interacting with me using PR comments are available here. If you have questions or suggestions related to my behavior, please file an issue against the kubernetes/test-infra repository.

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idvoretskyi commented Nov 20, 2018

/meow

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k8s-ci-robot commented Nov 20, 2018

@idvoretskyi: cat image

In response to this:

/meow

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idvoretskyi commented Nov 20, 2018

/assign

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mariantalla commented Nov 26, 2018

What do you think about having a "small, contained and relevant"[1] task that potential shadows could go through as part of the volunteering/selection process?

I could see this helping with 3 things:

  • Giving the shadow applicant a taste of what that release subteam's work is like, so they can make a more informed decision
  • Providing additional signal on Are you prepared to assist in fulfilling these duties
  • Offering feedback/additional ways that applicant shadow can prepare, if they have the bandwidth

[1] "small, contained and relevant":

  • small: can be completed, or at least thought through, in less 30'-60' with near 0 context
  • contained: small chance of the task ending up in rabbit hole (e.g. requiring input from sigs, depending on things to happen in reality)
  • relevant: includes tasks that the shadow applicant would be involved in as part of that subteam (e.g. "Write release notes for this one feature")
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liggitt commented Dec 17, 2018

+1 for considering time zone in selection, and for cross-timezone backups, especially for patch release manager selection, since coordinated security releases can often fall outside working hours

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jberkus commented Dec 18, 2018

Yeah, the time zone thing works both ways. For some roles, we want to ensure a good spread of time zones. For other roles, ones that need to have regular zoom meetings, we can't have too much spread of time zones.

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mbohlool commented Dec 20, 2018

+1 for considering time zone in selection, and for cross-timezone backups, especially for patch release manager selection, since coordinated security releases can often fall outside working hours

Patch release duties are mostly independent of the branch and can be done by any patch release manager. I suggest we have a patch release team instead of individual managers. Each member can still be responsible for one release but all of the team would be in sync with everything on all active releases and every member of the team will also have the ability to do the release. In the case of security releases, one team member can take care of all releases (as the jobs can be run in parallel and it is mostly busy work). If the release toke longer than working day of that person, it can be transferred to another member of the team in an appropriate timezone.

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spiffxp commented Jan 3, 2019

@jberkus I would like for us to have shadow selection more or less wrapped up by the end of next week (Friday, Jan 11th). Where do we stand on using this?

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justaugustus commented Jan 3, 2019

@spiffxp -- ball is in my court on the questionnaire. Will be out well ahead of end of next week.

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justaugustus commented Jan 9, 2019

@spiffxp -- draft shadow questionnaire is ready for review here: #433

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