An issue that’s been ongoing for our team during development is the lack of a sufficient alert system for when we deploy code changes to the staging server. What happens during a deploy is that the site typically goes down for a few seconds and is slow for a minute afterward. This is highly disruptive for the QA process, and had led to confusion at times. We needed an easy, non-disruptive way to send messages to the team before the deploy happens.
I chose to solve this problem for my first internal day. I landed on a RailsCast about the Faye Messaging System, which seems like the perfect solution for us. We can run a Faye server at Heroku that listens for messages that we send to it. These messages are assigned to specific channels that we create. The website being developed is then subscribed to this channel, so that the message can be delivered in real time, to the person viewing it. Nic Aitch and I eventually concluded that the best implementation will be through the use of yet another Chrome extension (we’ve got 2 awesome ones built by Nic already for other internal tasks).
My goal for the second internal day is to patch our deploy library so that it sends messages to the right channel right before the deploy starts. Nic Aitch will be working on the Chrome extension that subscribes and displays the messages.