How to Deploy on Friday and Feel Good About It
by Lindsay Neeson
Oh, the joys of a deploy. There’s ups, and downs, and more downs. Did you test on staging enough? Is the person who is on call actually going to answer if anything happens? (Hint: something may happen) Is it safe to deploy? How about now? (Hint: probably not) Now?? And, then guess what? You waited too long and now you have to deploy on Friday. Bad news.
To get a better sense of what engineers go through when deploying, we interviewed three of them. (Thankfully, this was not a whiteboard interview.)
Question: What is the best thing about deploying?
- The best is when everything goes smoothly.
- I like the idea of something new coming out of each deployment.
- Being able to see my hard work come to life is a great feeling.
Q: How do you feel about being on call?
- As long as I know who deployed and who wrote the code, it’s fine.
- I feel like I can handle whatever comes up.
- I love it. I want to be able to help in any way I can.
Q: What’s the worst day to deploy?
- Friday, at 4:00 to be exact, when I should be home.
- Fridays are the most difficult, but as long as things go well it’s alright.
- My energy levels are too low to deploy on Fridays. I really need to be in the right mindset.
Q: How can you plan ahead?
- Develop a rollback plan that only works if you solve the series of riddles that are hidden in an undisclosed location.
- You have to be confident in the code you wrote and be ready to create a rollback that matches that.
- I have a 23-step plan in case anything happens.
Q: What would you rather do instead of pushing a deploy?
- Have lunch with my mother-in-law.
- Picking up dog poop at the National Dog Show.
- Being on American Ninja Warrior. That show really frightens me.
As we dove further into this interview, we saw the fear and doubt in the eyes of the interviewees. Why does deploying have to be so unpleasant?
Short answer: It doesn’t.
Long answer: Lightstep’s new Service Health for Deployments feature is here to help. You can automatically see what impacted your service’s performance during and after a deployment — and surface why it happened.
Lightstep gives you the confidence to deploy every day of the week. If you want to see Lightstep in action, you can play in our Sandbox.