This blog was co-authored by myself and Simon Darken. Once a year, PagerDuty’s SREs get together for a three-day, in-person offsite. With the team spread...by Dave Bresci
December 5, 2018
The holiday season is in full swing. It’s the time of year to appreciate your loved ones and spend time with those who matter most. That is, until the pager goes off.
Making sure your on-call schedules and escalations are set up prior to the holidays is critical in making sure your teams get the well-deserved time off they need. No one should have to guess whether they’re on-call or not, and no one should be paged by non-actionable or irrelevant alerts.
And just because you are on-call during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy traveling.
PagerDuty is here to help you easily manage your holiday on-call schedules and tasks so you can spend less time worrying about being on-call and more time with your friends and family.
After you and your team decide how to divide up the holiday on-call responsibility, use Overrides to create a one-time adjustment to your usual on-call schedule. Since Overrides are a one-time change, your usual on-call schedule will stay intact. This means after the holiday season you can go on business as usual. And you can even see when you’re on-call with the on-call timeline, and view full schedules within the mobile app!
Will you be using Google Calendar or Outlook to keep track of all your holiday activities? Export your on-call schedule to your private calendars so you can keep your personal and work activities all in one place. On your profile page, you can choose to export an iCal file for a batch update or use WebCal to get real-time updates. In your personal calendar, you can also set reminders to alert you in advance of your shift. Or if your mobile phone has calendar push notifications, set a specific ringtone to signal that on-call is about to start. Since it’s the holidays, a celebratory holiday ringtone can help you feel jolly even when on-call is about to start.
On-call engineers are like the first-response team of critical services. Mobile incident management makes their jobs a whole lot easier. It provides a streamlined solution for taking the appropriate action on incidents in real-time. When every second counts, it’s crucial to have everything required to resolve incidents at their fingertips, including timelines/logs, the ability to assign responders, and more. A mobile incident management app lets an on-call engineer quickly triage an incident to understand its priority and any impacted services as well as related alerts, surface remediation information, and either escalate, collaborate, resolve, or snooze–whenever or wherever they may be. This ensures no one’s time is wasted, allowing the on-call engineer to recruit responders or re-assign incidents, only when they need to and when it’s absolutely necessary. This minimizes unnecessary escalations, as incidents can get resolved much more quickly.
Before heading out for the holidays, make sure you’re set up with your mobile app so you can get notified on the go.
Check out these resources to help you get setup for on-call success during the holidays.
Unfortunately, someone always has to be on-call during major dates such as Christmas and New Years. So give your on-call superhero a gift to say thanks! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and we’re looking forward to sharing new innovations with you in 2018!
Give PagerDuty a try, free for 14 days and see how seamless being on-call can be for you.