Dealing with extra capacity in the current environment

Hi @team

With my recent move to Bebop there seems to be a lack of billable work that can be assigned to me. Unfortunately, I’m not the only in this situation as @maxim mentioned a lack of dev work for the last 4 months.

I think that most everyone knows that this is a problem, but we don’t really have any concrete solutions as to how to deal with it. In the past members of Bebop could supplement their hours by working internal projects or DevOps tickets, but that’s not possible at the moment due to sustainability concerns.

So this thread is to discuss the issue, how we can work around it in the short term and if possibly solve it in the long term as well.

Note: This is tangentially related to Creating Forward tickets more regularly - #20 by kshitij.

[ticket to log time will follow]


I’ve added a few tickets from the Ethiopia project last night. I wish I could get these into the backlog earlier instead of last minute but I depend on them assigning us work.


We need to get the BB-6600 project going faster (won’t say details on this public thread) so if there are opportunities to accelerate the work by getting more devs working in parallel I think the client will appreciate it.

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There are three FAL tickets in the upcoming sprint for BB-7102, but no one is assigned to them, and all the Falcon team members are currently overcommitted. Will ping epic owners there, but I know this project has budget and a rapid timeline.


Just FYI, while the dedicated devs should get first priority (which is why I haven’t chirped up yet), I am expecting to have some hours free during this sprint and can take a small task. After this sprint, my hours may be increasing significantly for a while, so I’ll be able to pitch in on some of these projects. :slight_smile:

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Even I could not fill up my hours for last few sprints due to insufficient tickets, but it was not a big issue for me as it gave me more time with my new born and get adjusted to this big change in life. But now it would be good to at least fill up 70% of my hours which I am hoping to be the case from next sprint as Redis - event bus project starts. Anyways, thank you @keithgg and @maxim for bringing this issue up for discussion.

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How are we looking for next sprint? Does Bebop have enough work and prospective projects now?

I wasn’t filling more than 30% of my hours since October, but that was fine for me, as I anyway wasn’t very productive and my tickets were spilling over frequently. I’d prefer to keep this amount of hours for some time. However, this sprint I wasn’t able to find even a single ticket initially. @paulo has offered me to help with BB-7106, so now I should have enough work for this sprint.

Idk yet. The only project I’ve heard updates from is the Redis Event Bus. @navin was meeting with them today, afaik, for the first time, so no guarantees it will generate work for the next sprint.

Hi @bebop, how are things with this now?

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@navin @pooja @keithgg ^

@braden Did not have enough work this sprint, but thanks to @maxim and @Agrendalath, got two tickets from them.

Does it make sense to pull some people from Bebop into Falcon, since we are short handed?

It’s gotten better, but like @navin said, there’s still a lack of tasks to pick from. With some difficulty, I’ve been able to allocate about 75% of my hours.

@jill I talked to @farhaan about this today:

Bebop is pretty full in terms of role load and especially when taking into account Keith’s upcoming departure, the cell doesn’t have a ton of options in terms of epic ownership for new projects. Moving one or more existing core team members from Bebop to Falcon would reduce the cell’s options even further (in addition to triggering a bunch of reassignments of existing roles). Bebop needs to retain the ability to take on additional billable projects.

So instead of having existing members of the core team switch cells, it would probably make more sense for Bebop to hand over one or two newcomers to Falcon once they successfully pass their trial projects.

That might reduce the recruitment burden on Falcon somewhat, freeing up capacity for development work (which seems to be especially important in the short term, with Geoffrey gone and Giovanni on extended leave), and help us avoid the negative effects on Bebop mentioned above.

CC @tecoholic

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I don’t see significant difference. I still have trouble filling my hours. The only epic that seems to have tickets available was ASU-MOSHE but there are quite a few of us working on it already. I wasn’t able to find tasks this sprint and took one from @maxim. There’s some translation work but i’m running out of CC hours too.

Works for me :)

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@antoviaque ^

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@tikr If the role caps are attained but there is not enough work to fill everyone’s sprint, that might mean that the caps are too low? We need to be able to assign more work, and for this more projects will need to be taken on - the current ratios aren’t sustainable, neither in terms or filling our hours, or in handling enough work to sustain our non-billable costs. (And recruiting more people doesn’t solve everything, as we also need to provide work for them, under similar ratios.)

So, until we are full in terms of work hours, and have restablished sustainability, can we remove the role load caps? We could still keep an eye on them, to make sure the spread is equitable across a cell, ie that some people don’t end up with many more than others, bring up the topic again if the number of roles becomes too much. But the priority needs to go to ensuring sustainability and that everyone has enough work.

@antoviaque I agree. The good news is that Bebop’s role caps aren’t attained :) In its current state the cell still has some options for taking on additional projects.

My point was that if we were to start moving existing core team members from Bebop to Falcon now, that might result in a situation where Bebop would be unable to take new projects. (Because the total number of people able to take on roles would be reduced and the load on each remaining member would simultaneously increase as a result of taking over roles from people leaving the cell.)

Hence the suggestion to hand over newcomers instead.