It's time for our second interview in this series (check out our first with the CEO of Chartio). Today we chat with Arup Chakrabarti. He leads the Operations Engineeering team at PagerDuty, a key tool for anyone operating a cloud-based product. It's truly the most graceful way to wake up an engineer in the middle of the night! :-)
Hi Arup, tell us about your team. What kind of office setup do you have?
At PagerDuty, we have about 40 people right now. We have dedicated spaces for each team within the company and some of these teams have dedicated rooms. We are primarily a Mac shop with shiny aluminum everywhere, though we do have a renegade with a Thinkpad.
What web apps can your team not live without?
We are huge users of collaboration tools like Hipchat, Jira, Confluence, GotoMeeting for our video conferencing, and Google Apps. On the engineering side, we are using Github with our service deployed across multiple regions in AWS and Linode. On our outgoing SMS/Calling infrastructure, we have multiple providers that we use. We use tools like Tableau for analytics as well as some in house tools. On the sales side, we use Salesforce, and on the support side, we use ZenDesk.
How does your team pick new apps to get work done?
'Does it fully solve the problem?' is the first question we always ask. If the answer is no, then we start to look at what percentage of the problem it solves and figure out where we can make the trade-offs on other areas. If something is not core to our business, we try to use an off the shelf solution because we get to leverage the expertise of others.
How do you onboard new people and help them get productive on their first day?
We make sure that each hiring manager has a list of items that their new hires need. This ranges from access to laptops to other equipment. Outside of that, we make sure that everyone can readily bootstrap their own machines to be effective and we are starting to look at automating this. We've been looking at Brew and Cask to help us with this.
What tools/tricks does your team use to work remotely?
We have two distinct offices at PagerDuty, one in SF and one in Toronto, so we are used to communicating across time zones and via asynchronous methods. Collaboration tools like Hipchat and even Github are very valuable for making sure that people can readily see what is going on. Making sure people have visibility into what is currently happening and what might have happened while they were not at their desk is super important.
What would be your dream setup?
A good centralized auth system that can add/revoke users on all of our services would make onboarding/offboarding much easier. I think Meldium is trying to solve this in the right way. The dream setup for me is where each new engineer can sit down their first day and be able to deploy their first lines of code to production within the hour. We're almost there.