Meet the team

Completed

DevOps has many features and tools to help a team collaborate and improve its processes. Your journey through DevOps begins with an introduction to our fictitious software team members, who are discovering that they need to improve their release process.

Tailspin Toys, or Tailspin for short, is a video game company. Tailspin hosts its game servers and websites in an on-premises datacenter. The company just celebrated the release of a new racing game. They'll be releasing a space shooter game, called Space Game, in the coming months.

The team that you'll be working with builds websites to support new game titles. These websites provide information about the game, ways to get it, and leaderboards that show top scores. Each website must go live the same day the game is released, which requires coordination among the teams and puts some extra pressure on the web team.

The Space Game website is a .NET app written in C# that's deployed to Linux. The website isn't finished yet, but here's what it looks like right now:

A web browser showing the Space Game website. The page shows graphics from the game and a button to download the game.

And here's what the leaderboard looks like:

A web browser showing the the Space Game leaderboard. The leaderboard shows the top 10 players and their high scores.

You can filter the leaderboard by mode or by game map. You can also select a player's name to see their profile and game achievements:

The Space Game website showing the top player's profile information.

Note

Although the game and the website aren't finished yet, you can check out the website now to get a sense of how it works.

Here are your team members:

Andy is the development lead who's been working with computers since he was a kid. He enjoys working on personal coding projects in his spare time. Andy always wishes he had more spare time.

A cartoon depiction of Andy.

Amita is in QA. She's calm, which helps with some temperamental developers. She's good at organizing and setting priorities and lives to find edge cases.

A cartoon depiction of Amita.

Tim is in operations. He likes practical solutions and he's very cautious (although some people might use the word "paranoid"), which makes sense because he's the person who gets the 3 A.M. call when something goes wrong.

A cartoon depiction of Tim.

Irwin is the product manager. He's been in the video game industry for decades. Irwin acts friendly towards the development teams, but everyone knows he favors a tight schedule over people. Irwin has a relatively fixed mindset, but if there's anything that can help teams get games to market faster with less effort, he's all ears.

A cartoon depiction of Irwin.

Mara is new. She just joined Tailspin as a developer and reports to Andy. She joined Tailspin because she likes games and she thought a smaller company would have lots of opportunity for innovation. She's a big fan of DevOps.

A cartoon depiction of Mara.

Good morning

Irwin, the team's product manager, has called everyone into a meeting, and he's in a bad mood. The leaderboard for the racing game was just updated with several new features and he showed it at a local gaming group. Players' reactions were disappointing, to say the least. He reads off a list of the top problems:

  • Some features work correctly for only some game modes.
  • Updating the leaderboard takes too long, even with a small number of players.
  • Multiple scores per player show up as multiple players.
  • The new ranking feature returns incorrect results.
  • There's no way to group scores according to a specific date or game session.
  • It took months to produce the new release (and it's broken).

He demands, "How long before these problems are fixed?"

Andy thinks: I bet it takes me a month to write that code.

Amita thinks: It'll take me at least a week to test this and I can't start until Andy is finished, and he always wants to sneak in new code.

Tim thinks: It'll take me at least a week to set up the environments and deploy this to production. I can't start until Amita is finished, and she's never willing to call something a release candidate.

Mara wonders: Was taking this job a mistake?

Andy looks around at his teammates and says, "We'll get back to you."