Thoughts on forced emergency support?

I am with a company I generally like a lot but there are some things I generally despise about it. Like forced emergency support.

I am not good at it, I don't claim to be.. I generally struggle with anxiety, stress and depression, I specifically avoid roles that require on-call service .. I'm a senior level software engineer.

I find it very frustrating to be expected to be on-call from 7-7 in support of infrastructure I did not architect, did not code and basically know nothing about. They provided me with a ten minute discussion about ops genie and where to find internal support articles for my training and that's about it.

Last night I received an ops genie alarm and acked it as I was instructed to do, I went around the system looking for the alarm cause and basically had no idea what to do except watch our metrics graphing praying there wouldn't be an outage. Fortunately the alarm was for our load balancer scaling operation, it was taking a bit longer than usual ... Sigh of relief. Stay up til 6am and fall asleep..

Wake up to a few messages from various people asking why I didn't do this and that and it took me every inkling of my being to remain cordial and polite but I really just wanted to scream and say a bunch of shit that would probably get me fired.

What the actual fuck?

Why expect someone that has no god damn clue what they are doing to do something like this? Fuckin shit training and no leadership to mentor me and help me get better at this role, no shadowing, no regiment ..

#confused and #annoyed

Thoughts? Am I a bitch? Is it unreasonable for me to expect my job duties stay in line with what I'm actually good at!?


  • 5
    what do you mean by forced?

    do you have to do it even though it's not in your contract? then don't do it.

    is it in your contract? then it's not forced.

    anyway, talk to your supervisor about it.
  • 3
    sounds like shit place to work in general.
  • 3
    That’s why they should have multiple level of response and put new people as first responders, if you cannot act on alarm then this gets escalated to next level (someone more experienced) that knows what to do
  • 2
    No judgements but why aren't you interested in incident management or troubleshooting? Being an SSE would make you more qualified to decipher the system architecture, deployment model, possible points of failure than a random support Engineer who plays by the so called Runbooks

    I get it. On-call support is not super fun especially when we deserve a calm and stable environment to be productive. It can be very tiresome to Swift through logs from myriads of sources, triage the down/upstream systems, join/host RCA calls, answer a bunch of asses and assholes but the reality is production is never fail safe and that's what makes a Developer's life more interesting and exciting
  • 2
    There's a difference between someone not having a clue about the specific work that you're doing than having a clue about being A SSE. As much and you can, you should be setting an example for those below you.

    I'm working as an external third party as their interim Senior Data Engineer and expected to do their daily checks as well as fix any issues that arise, just like any other team member. In perfectly happy with that. That's not meant as a dig, but just my experience.
  • 0
    @tosensei Yea i never saw anything about OnCall service when i was offered .. more of like a bait n switch to some degree. Fortunately it's only a week.
  • 1
    You're not going to know what the architecture is if you don't involve yourself into the app, that includes emergency support.

    Here's the thing, if you're still new someone else should be getting the call and having your noc call you as a follow-up.

    Going by your logic, if you didn't build it then it's not your problem. That's not how IT works. The team is responsible for it, not the individual.

    I'm not even sorry if I come across as a dick. I have had to deal with so many 20-something male snowflakes that just straight up refused to be on call. I call out the men because the women I have had the pleasure to work with never let their "big dick ego" get in the way.

    If you don't like it, you should probably find a different job instead of making someone else miserable for carrying the torch 24/7.
  • 3
    Fuck on call for software I didn't write.

    Fuck on call for software I did write, but I find it less objectionable.
  • 2
    Next time you're up for a raise, ask instead for this to be removed from your job description.
  • 1
    It sounds like a sharing the load system. This is fine but being in your own on call while being completely out of your depth is something else.
    I do agree with @sariel you need to learn, I think any senior needs to know at least some of the layers underneath. But hopefully not in a way that causes outages or without support.
  • 4
    @hjk101 i agree with him too, my main thing here is lack of training, lack of domain ownership .. im working on the chrome extension ffs..
    And.. I'm sick and have been sick for over a week.. I'm just generally feeling over this hurdle race.

    I'm ranting on devrant, go figure :)
  • 1
    @anolis I agree with what some others have said. Domain knowledge should be shared across the team, but if you're dedicated to a product you should be on the bottom of the call list for anything that's not your product.

    Also, it sounds like you need a nice broth.

    It's a good thing you have too many cooks at work.


    Get better soon.
  • 1
    @sariel thank you
  • 2
    @anolis indeed if I was not clear enough. What they put you through is really not okay it's bad for the people on duty and bad business.
  • 0
    I survived emergency support and learned a lot because of it
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