Dan Pupius
The Medium Blog
Published in
2 min readJun 25, 2015


I wrote this on Hatch — our internal version of Medium — on 13 March. The post is presented here with minimal edits. See Hatching Inside Medium for more context.

On Names

Names are important; they are more than just words, they shape and color the things they name.
— From the Journal of Xavier Desmond by George RR Martin

SWAT is our on-call and release team. It stands for Site Wellness, Availability, and Triage. While the three tenets are important, and the name is catchy and memorable, it is time to rebrand.

Even though the militarization of the police isn’t new, in the last 6 months we’ve seen a marked increase in disturbing events and actions by the police. And while Swatting also isn’t new, it is being used by hate groups to try and silence victims of abuse and harassment within our community (including members of our own team).

As Nathan so eloquently pointed out on Slack:

The problem with drawing a parallel to a militarized police force is that we’re the people who are unaffected by it (like white and affluent). The tech industry already has a rep for being out of touch.

Using notes add proposals for a new name. I’ll add them to the post at the bottom and we can vote on them via highlights.


  • Short
  • Memorable
  • Easy to type
  • Easy to say
  • Unambiguous at Medium
  • Does not have to be an acronym
  • Sounds ok saying: “I’m on my _____ rotation next week”, “Have ____ investigate”.

Some concepts for inspiration:

  • First Response
  • Wellness
  • Availability
  • Triage
  • Bugs
  • Uptime
  • Release
  • Quality
  • Alert
  • On Call
  • Pager
  • Shield
  • Defense

Proposed names:

  • The MOUNTIES : The Medium Operations Unit Necessary to Triage Incidents and Ensure Stability
  • FART : First response, Alerts, Release, and Triage
  • ORT : On-call, Release, and Triage
  • Shield : simply guarding the rest of the team
  • ATOM : Availability and Triage Operations for Medium
  • The Watch : c.f. Discworld
  • Five-Nine : Like Five-Oh but for 99.999 uptime
  • QUARTz : Quality Uptime Availability and Triage
  • Medic : just Medic
  • RART : release, alert, release, triage
  • MEOW : Medium Engineering On-Call and Wellness rotation
  • FiRe : First Responders

Epilogue: We renamed the on-call rotation from SWAT to The Watch on 25 March.



Dan Pupius
The Medium Blog

Englishman in California. Father, engineer, photographer. Recovering adrenaline junky. Founder @ www.range.co. Previously: Medium, Google.