Staff Training Lab 3 - Administrivia Time
Facilitator: Ben Cuan4 min read
Welcome to the third week of staff training!
Last week, we poked around some of the technical infrastructure around the lab and found some cool scripts. This week, we’ll poke around some of the tools we use to manage the OCF administratively!
Even if you plan on primarily contributing technically, it’s still very important to figure out how to use our systems (to do things such as request purchases for your projects). And if you plan on contributing non-technically, this is all you really need to know to start helping out!
The OCF receives funding from three main sources:
- The Student Technology Fund, which allows us to purchase new servers and other hardware,
- The ASUC, whos funding keeps our lab space open to students (through opstaff stipends, printing supplies, etc.),
- And alumni, who graciously donate to cover costs that the first two sources do not.
If you have more questions about how we manage our money and/or would like to be directly involved in doing so, the Finance Committee (#finance-comm on Discord/Slack/IRC) is the perfect place for you! Please ask them about how you can contribute.
We are constantly looking for ways to spice up the lab space! Your task is to find cool posters, stickers, decorations, or anything else you can think of that we could put in the lab space to make it more interesting. (As an example, one thing we currently have up in the lab is this vim poster.)
Once you found something awesome, go to ocf.io/buy and fill out the form to add it to the buysheet!
All buysheet submissions are recorded in ocf.io/buysheet and are put up to an approval vote during the weekly Board of Directors (BoD) meeting, which takes place from 7-8pm on Wednesdays. If you’d like to participate in the process of approving purchases, all you need to do is show up then!
In addition to reviewing buysheet, the Board of Directors serves as the general decision-making body of the OCF. In the past, BoD has discussed and planned for things such as:
- Amending the constitution and bylaws
- Voting on future GM’s, SM’s and committee heads
- Designing/planning/purchasing new servers
In order to join BoD and cast votes, all you need to do is attend 2 consecutive meetings. Once appointed to BoD, you will stay on to the end of the semester unless you miss 2 or more consecutive meetings (after which you can just be re-appointed).
During BoD, we take minutes (notes) on what was discussed for future reference. Minutes are publicly available; in fact, you can view them from as far back as 1989 at ocf.io/bod/!
If you attend BoD, you can volunteer to help take them and record a small part of OCF history by SSHing into supernova and using the command
Find some minutes that were taken in the year you were born (or, 1989 if you are older than the OCF). Find out what kinds of things were going on that year (and, as a bonus, try to figure out where the OCF was located on campus at that time– it’s moved around a lot).
As you might imagine, the OCF gets a lot of emails (users asking for help, clubs wanting to make a website, companies giving infosessions…) and it can get pretty hard to keep track of them all. As a solution, the OCF uses Request Tracker (RT). Here, incoming emails and requests are split up into queues. Here are a few:
- bod contains topics that staff would like to bring up during BoD meetings. You are welcome to make a new ticket in this queue if there’s something you want to discuss.
- devnull mostly contains spam, advertisements, and other low-priority emails. You can safely ignore this queue.
- help typically contains questions from users. Most of our time on RT is on responding to these tickets.
Responding to RT tickets is a fantastic way to directly interact and support OCF users, as well as get hands-on experience doing things like setting up application hosting, creating new email addresses, and requesting domains from the university hostmaster. The best way to get started is to shadow a veteran staffer during their staff hours– just ask them and you can join! You’ll also learn how to add your own staff hours next week.
In one of the queues not mentioned above, there exists a ticket called “Toy RT Ticket”. Find it, and reply to it with an out-of-context movie quote (or, honestly, anything you want).