1. 4

Hi! I can see very little activity around this topic these days. Are you guys using it? How does it look like in your organization? What are your biggest pains?

  1. 7

    We use it as a notification system for developers, and for the lookup of common things.

    Notifications:

    • builds from the CI/CD system.
    • alerts from monitoring systems.
    • notifications from ticketing system(s) – be careful with this one.. can easily become to spammy.

    Lookup basic things, like:

    • system-wide queue sizes.
    • LDAP user information
    • lastlogin information for auth and server systems.
    • simple SQL queries against our DB (select only - limited to 10-ish rows & colums).

    We find these are useful. but having chatops actually deploy or DO things, we haven’t found a use-case for. If you practice Infrastructure as code, then you want all your doing to be done via a VCS commit, not from some chat message.

    TODO:

    • Pull a graph out of Grafana or Prometheus and display it. no idea how to make it easily fetchable/queryable, but it would be nice to easily share graph snippets from our monitoring system.
    1. 4

      Dead is dead. You may not see much using the term “Chatops” because it became a buzzword and then an overblown productization strategy, when really some of us have been having chatbots that Do Stuff for freaking DECADES and - newsflash - that hasn’t changed.

      (Seriously please consider a different word choice. “Dead” where technology is concerned is SO questionable. Java is most assuredly NOT dead. Neither are COBOL or RPG or PowerBuilder or Visual Basic 3 or Windows XP - those last two most assuredly SHOULD BE dead but … aren’t :)

      1. 1

        Hmm, I don’t agree to “most of us” at all. I did employ some bots to convey info on IRC for years, but nothing was ever actively triggered before roughly the time that github published hubot. I’m not saying they invented anything, but that’s about when the hype phase began.

        1. 1

          Poor choice of words. Editing.

      2. 2

        Used it in my last company until end of 2017. It was ok, but I still don’t see the huge benefit over dedicated web-based UIs besides visibility. Where I work now it simply doesn’t make sense, the only thing I could reasonably automate via chatops is deploying certain builds to various test systems, not production - so not worth the effort. That said, in that company where it was used there was also no reason to abandon it.

        Biggest pains I remember was streaming the output via Slack. Or don’t stream it and only keep it in case of error? What to post in chat? What only to the person deploying?

        1. 2

          I have, I’m not, I find it a bit of a weird idea that I want to put my deployment tools next to my distracting chat UI rather than…well, not have that distracting chat UI. As @zie says, if I’m doing CD then I want my changes continuously deployed, not to wait until I launch Slack.

          Additionally, it’s a bit odd to put effort into securing your monitoring and logging infrastructure then replicate all of its content into Slack where it can be read by Slack admins and Slack employees (who aren’t even in my jurisdiction). I guess if you’re using your own infra, like self-hosted Mattermost or IRC, that’s a different story.

          1. 2

            You’re presuming that “chat” == “Slack”.

            This is incorrect. You can run Jabber or IRC or Matrix or any number of other protocols and tools behind the firewall quite well.

            1. 2

              I didn’t think I was:

              I guess if you’re using your own infra, like self-hosted Mattermost or IRC, that’s a different story.

          2. 1

            It’s exactly as dead as Web 2.0. None at all.

            1. 1

              As of the latest release (11.9), a feature with this name is part of GitLab Core (open source, all tiers) now: https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/ci/chatops/

              I wouldn’t say dead. Mature, boring, “just works” maybe? A lack of buzz is sometimes a good thing.

              1. 1

                I would say the fact that all Ops tools integrate with Slack is evidence that it’s not dead.

                1. 1

                  We use it where I work. I don’t work in the systems that use it for deploys, but lots of people do. They seem to like it fine.

                  Mainly my team logs to the chat, but I don’t really use it because it’s too verbose. It was more of a mandate that we do it (because we do chat ops). ¯_(ツ)_/¯

                  1. 1

                    TBH that buzzword and the sudden activity around it always seemed ridiculous to me. Chatbots have been around forever and it’s so arbitrary that it suddenly became a “thing” and got a new buzzword.

                    The cynical part of me wants to say it’s another case of web developers reinventing the wheel by adding “… but on a webpage!”, and creating a buzzword.