One More Week: Update all the things!

I’ve re-affirmed my decision to go to the new team. Now that I have a deadline, I’m back in the game, trying to figure out the best way to spend my remaining days in Systems Engineering.

Saint Anthony Tormented by Demons – Martin Schongauer, ca 1470-75

I’ve been in more meetings this week that all year! I was pulled back into the SysEng team Slack channel, the weekly staff meeting, and two project reviews. I missed my new favorite meeting, the Taskcluster Community meeting led by Pete Moore. I thought I was more emotionally level in 2022 than last year. It turns out it may be that I just had less Zoom meetings.

We recently released Taskcluster v44.4.0, which dropped Python 2.7 support. This revealed some lingering Python 2 code, updated in PR 5071. Matt Boris has been churning through Dependabot updates, and it is good to see those getting merged. I was inspired to start on the version bumps for Go (1.16.7 to 1.17.6) and Node (14.17.15 to LTS 16.13.2). My first attempt, PR 5084, was sloppier than I liked, so I broke out the Go upgrade in PR 5088. The Node update in PR 5095 is also a bit sloppy, requiring updating to a CI worker from Ubuntu 14.04 to 20.04 – a six-year jump! All the tests pass but one, so that will slip until next week.

For the monitoring project, I’ve been warned away from both Pulse / RabbitMQ as a transport, as well as creating a new Monitor service. I’m looking into ways to build it with existing tools, and hook into libraries like Taskcluster’s Monitor. Alan Alexander still likes Prometheus, which we used on the CTMS project on an API server and a backend processor, and thinks the InfluxDB TICK stack would also work. Christina Harlow confirmed we can get data out of InfluxDB with a token, so it isn’t a one-way transaction. I confirmed that the service APIs are not proxied, but instead available via the Kubernetes Ingress configuration. The Kubernetes configuration answered several questions for me, including how the services are run, and the existence of a handful of CronJob tasks that could also use monitoring.

I do not yet have a plan for how to implement monitoring, at least one that I can hand off to other people. I am still in discovery mode. One question I had after the meeting was if have enough monitoring for the major task already – the slow provisioning of Azure workers – and if we should tackle that directly. Next week I plan to put together my scattered notes on that issue, and plan some first steps.

We went to my mother-in-law’s house on Sunday. She is so excited for visitors, she agreed to play Wingspan, which took about 3 hours (the kid won), followed by a speed round of Hearts. I went from no points to catching the black Queen twice and being the big loser.

Recommendations and links:

  • Wordle is a daily word game like Mastermind, and just requires a browser. The author made it easy to share your daily results without spoilers, making it a viral hit on Twitter, Slack, and our family iMessage threads. It really annoys some people, which is also fun, and makes for a new meme format.
  • Alan wants to read Implementing Service Level Objectives by Alex Hidalgo, now I do too.
  • Wingspan is a fun engine-building board game. It takes so long to get through the first game, but then we just wanted to play again. I can’t say that I’ve figured out a winning strategy – I never know who won until the points are added at the end.
  • The Story of King Solomon and Ashmedai is quite a story, and makes me think about the thin line between what makes it into the religious canon and what doesn’t.



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