Monthly Archives: May 2014

Looking for long term trends and patterns in how I work

Early last year (2013), I noticed I would work really productive for a couple weeks, and then get in a rut for a week here and there.  After discussing this perceived trend with Clint, I started tracking it every week (end of work day on Friday).  I have been tracking it for a year, and now I have data to examine in more detail:

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For the first part of last year (through September 2013), I would go in 6 week cycles which appeared to be about 1 week after the uplifts.  Oddly enough I wasn’t doing any specific work for uplifts, but I do recall a lot of odd issues that required debugging for each uplift.  Quite possible the day or two spent handling these issues resulted in me getting backlogged on emails.

Oddly enough when I transitioned from full time mobile automation -> full time performance automation, my cycles became more regular.  One exception was a focused project development week early in 2014 which had me doing other tasks and getting behind on a few other projects.

There is no direct correlation in the health data, but I have some theories.  I record my general feeling of health (for the most part physical, not emotional).  This is pure judgemental and there is no science behind it.  10 is good, 0 is bad, so when there is a dip in health on the graph, I usually see an increase in email volume the next week.  No explanation for that, just an observation.

In summary, I have enjoyed looking back on this data.  It was good to see a trend for most of 2013.  Maybe next year I will see a different trend or pattern.

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Some thoughts on being a good mentor

I have done a good deal of mentored bugs as well as mentoring new Mozillians (gsoc, interns, employees) on their journey.  I would like to share a few things which I have found that make things easier.  Most of this might seem like common sense, but I find it so easy to overlook little details and forget things.

  1. When filing a bug (or editing an existing one), make sure to include:
    • Link(s) to getting started with the code base (cloning, building, docs, etc.)
    • Clear explanation of what is expected in the bug
    • A general idea of where the problematic code is
    • What testing should look like
    • How to commit a patch
    • A note of how best to communicate and not to worry about asking questions
    • Avoid shorthand and acronyms!
  2. Spend a few minutes via IRC/Email getting to know your new friend, especially timezones and general schedule of availability.
  3. Make it a priority to do quick reviews and answer questions – nothing is more discouraging when you have 1 thing to work on and you need to wait for further information.
  4. It is your job to help them be effective – take the time to explain why coding styles and testing are important and how it is done at Mozilla.
  5. Make it clear how their current work plays a role in Mozilla as a whole.  Nobody likes to work on something that is not valued.
  6. Granting access to Try server (or as a contributor to a git repository) really make you feel welcome and part of the team, consider doing this sooner than later.  With this comes the responsibility of teaching them how to use their privileges responsibly!
  7. Pay attention to details- forming good habits up front go a long way!

With those things said, just try to put yourself in the shoes of a new Mozillian.  Would you want honest feedback?  Would you want to feel part of the larger community?

Being a good mentor should be rewarding (the majority of the time) and result in great Mozillians who people enjoy working with.

Lets continue to grow Mozilla!

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Are there any trends in our Talos regression bugs?

Now that we have a better process for taking action on Talos alerts and pushing them to resolution, it is time to take a step back and see if any trends show up in our bugs.

First I want to look at bugs filed/week:

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This is fun to see, now what if we stack this up side by side with the alerts we receive:

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We started tracking alerts halfway through this process.  We show that for about 1 out of every 25 alerts we file a bug.  I had previously stated it was closer to 1/33 alerts (it appears that is averaging out the first few weeks).

Lets see where these bugs are filed, here is a view of the different bugzilla products:

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The Testing product is used to file bugs that we cannot figure out the exact changeset, so they get filed in testing::talos.  As there are almost 30 unique components bugs are filed in, I took a few minutes to look at the Core product, here is where the bugs live in Core:

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Pardon my bad graphing attempt here with the components cut off.  Graphics is the clear winner for regressions (with “graphics: layers” being a large part of it).  Of course the Javascript Engine and DOM would be there (a lot of our tests are sensitive to changes here).  This really shows where our test coverage is more than where bad code lives. 

Now that I know where the bugs are, here is a view of how long the bugs stay open:

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The fantastic news is most of our bugs are resolved in <=15 days!  I think this is a metric we can track and get better at- ideally closing all Talos regression bugs in <30 days.

Looking over all the bugs we have, what is the status of them?

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Yay for the blue pacman!  We have a lot of new bugs instead of assigned bugs, that might be something we could adjust and assign owners once it is confirmed and briefly discussed- that is still up in the air.

The burning question is what are all the bugs resolved as?

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To me this seems healthy, it is a starting point.  Tracking this over time will probably be a useful metric!

 

In summary, many developers have done great work to make improvements and fix patches over the last 6 months that we have been tracking this information.  There are things we can do better, I want to know-

What information provided today is useful to track regularly?

Is there something you would rather see?

 

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The lifecycle of a Talos performance regression

The lifecycle of a Talos performance regression

The cycle of landing a change to Firefox that affects performance

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May 8, 2014 · 9:38 am

Hey, SessionRestore- you have a Talos test

As of last Friday bug 936630 landed so we now have sessionrestore (and sessionrestore_no_auto_restore) as 2 new tests in the Talos suite (posting results under they magic ‘o’ key on tbpl).  In fact we have already seen this test show improvements.

Thanks to Yoric for creating these new tests, give him some karma on irc!  Please refer to the talos docs if you want more information on these tests.

 

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Performance Alerts – by the numbers

If you have ever received an automated mail about a performance regression, and then 10 more, you probably are frustrated by the volume of alerts.  6 months ago, I started looking at the alerts and filing bugs, and 10 weeks ago a little tool was written to help out.

What have I seen in 10 weeks:

1926 alerts on mozilla.dev.tree-management for Talos resulting in 58 bugs filed (or 1 bug/33 alerts):

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*keep in mind that many alerts are improvements, as well as duplicated between trees and pgo/nonpgo

 

Now for some numbers as we uplift.  How are we doing from one release to another?  Are we regressing, Improving?  These are all questions I would like to answer in the coming weeks.

Firefox 30 uplift, m-c -> Aurora:

  • 26 – regressions (4 TART, 4 SVG, 3 TS, Paint, and many more)
    • 2 remaining bugs not resolved as we are now on Beta (bug 990183, bug 990194)

 

Firefox 31 uplift, m-c -> Aurora (tracking bug 990085):

 

Is this useful information?

Are there questions you would rather I answer with this data?

 

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