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Request access to tools

These are the tools you’ll need to work on and collaborate with others on the Platform.

  • Everyone should get access to Slack, GitHub, and ZenHub.

  • Developers should also get access to Jenkins, Grafana, and Sentry.


Granting Slack Access to New People

If you are a manager, then create an issue in the repo using this customized Slack Request Template. Fill it out fully and submit the ticket.

Getting Slack Access

Use this process if you are a new employee:

  1. Ask your Program Manager to request an invitation to the Digital Service @ VA Slack.

  2. Check your email for the Slack invitation and join!

  3. Add information to your Slack profile


Getting access to the VA GitHub organization

  1. Ask your Program Manager to submit an Add User to the VA Organization ticket.

    • The ticket submitter will need to have VA GitHub Org access already.

    • Ask your Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) to post their approval on this ticket to expedite the approval process.

    • This process is managed by the VA GitHub admins, not the Platform, and may take a few days to process.

If you have any issues with the above step, please consult the VA GitHub Handbook for assistance.

  1. Once your ticket is processed, check your email for an invitation to the VA GitHub Organization, and join!

    • Note: Make sure you’re signed into the correct GitHub account before you accept the invitation.

  2. Once you've been added, add information to your GitHub profile:

    • Organization: Your company name

    • Working on: The project your team is working on, e.g., "526 ancillary forms"

For more information and additional resources, please visit VA GitHub Handbook.

Getting repo access

GitHub repo access is managed through the Platform Orientation process.

  1. Visit the Platform Orientation page and follow the instructions for new team members.

    • Note: You will not be able to assign the ticket to yourself however, the ticket can still be completed and ready for Platform action.


See details and orientation on ZenHub.

ZenHub is used by the Platform team for issue tracking and management.

Additional access for researchers and designers

These tools are specifically for researchers and designers to use:

Sketch for Teams

To access Sketch for Teams, contact Kevin Hoffman in the #design Slack channel.

VA Research Repository research repository access is managed through the Platform Orientation process.
Opening a new Platform Orientation GitHub template, accessible via the Guidance for new teams and team members page, will kick off the process of granting you access.

OCTO Research Sessions Calendar

The OCTO Research Sessions Google Calendar contains all research sessions scheduled by Perigean. Contact Naomi Marcussen or Kevin Hoffman in the #design Slack channel to be added.

Optimal Workshop

A team account is available for you to use any of the tools offered in Optimal Workshop (surveys, card sorting, or tree testing). You can access the team account by following the steps below:

  1. Select the most appropriate Optimal Workshop login credentials from this list

  2. Go to and login

  3. If you don’t have access to this list, you can do a couple of things:

    1. Submit a request to access the GitHub sensitive repo in the #platform-support Slack channel.

    2. Contact the group owner from the list below in the #research-ops Slack channel with your request to get the Optimal Workshop login credentials. They will then send you the login credentials via Keybase.

Group Owners

  • Research Operations - Shane Strassberg

  • Digital Experience IA - Mikki Northuis

  • Health Experience Research - Robyn Singleton

  • Benefits Research - Shannon Ford

  • Platform Research - Matt Dingee

  • Lighthouse Research - Scott Mericle


If you’d like to use Mural, we have a VA Enterprise account for you to use. Follow these steps to get access to this account:

  1. Ask your OCTO PO to submit a DOTS request on your behalf

    • You’ll need access to your email to become a member

    • The expected turnaround time on the DOTS request is a few business days.

  2. Once added, you’ll get an email (in your email) from Mural saying that you are a member and can set up your account.

Additional access for developers

Several internal tools for development are only accessible within the VA network. Access to developers outside the VA network is available via a SOCKS proxy.

SOCKS access

  1. Follow the instructions for setting up SOCKS access on the Internal tools access via SOCKS proxy page. Once access is granted, you can move on to the next step.

  2. Test accessing Jenkins, Grafana, and Sentry through the SOCKS proxy (see links below). When logging into these services for the first time, click the button Login with GitHub or similar. You might be prompted to link your GitHub account and be presented with a permissions dialog. Allow the service to access your account and view your Organization membership.

TestRail access

To get access to TestRail, request access to the Platform TestRail instance in #vfs-platform-support. See Getting help from the Platform in Slack for more information about Slack. Also, see Create a project in TestRail and the TestRail User Guide for more information about TestRail.

TestRail accounts are limited. Please limit account creation to dedicated QA personnel and a shared account for VFS team.

Tools overview


Datadog is a monitoring tool managed by DOTS. See Get Access to Datadog


With the SOCKS proxy set up and running, go to You can see the builds without logging in but need to authenticate (with GitHub OAuth) to re-run failed builds.


With the SOCKS proxy set up and running, go to You can sign in using your GitHub account by clicking the "Login with GitHub" button on the login page.

We use Sentry teams to separate production, staging, and dev errors. To view the most recent production errors, the most common thing to do while on call, is go to .


With the SOCKS proxy set up and running, go to . You can sign in using your GitHub account by clicking the "GitHub" button on the login page.

There are many dashboards, and you should click around to get familiar with the various metrics being collected and visualized (make sure Data Source is set to Production). A few highlights are:

  • Site provides overall metrics about the health of the site.

  • External Service Status allows you to see the availability of the services depends on.

  • RDS provides database statistics.

  • Rev Proxy provides metrics on the reverse proxies.

Vets API Access - EKS

Vets API is deployed fully on EKS. Access to the vets-api EKS applications is managed via GitHub teams (linked below). To obtain access, fill out a Vets-api ArgoCD terminal access request form. An OCTO-DE and Platform member approval is required (prior AWS access approval can expedite this process, so make sure to list your AWS user name in the form if you have one).

Please reach out to #vfs-platform-support for any questions regarding access.

Vets API Github Teams

Terminal Access

Links to Vets API in ArgoCD (requires SOCKS)
  1. vets-api-dev

  2. vets-api-staging

  3. vets-api-sandbox

  4. vets-api-prod issue template

To access the Argo terminal, please open a Vets-api ArgoCD terminal access issue

Once access requests are approved, terminal access to vets-api is accessible via ArgoCD.

How to

The following steps detail how to access the terminal via Argo:

  1. Navigate to (Requires Socks)

  2. Search for "vets-api-{env-here}" in the search bar

  3. Click on a vets-api-web-* pod (far right)

    • Note: Look for the pod icon

  4. A Terminal tab will appear on the far right

    • Note: If you get an error or don't see the tab, log out/in of ArgoCD

  5. You now have access to run commands via shell

Note: For additional details please see the Vets API on EKS documentation.

AWS console access

Our infrastructure (not including Vets API) is hosted in AWS GovCloud. This account is shared amongst many teams; changes to resources in this account will affect many services. You may need access to AWS for troubleshooting, log file review, or to apply changes to the running instances and services.

In order to be granted AWS Console access, your PIV background (eQIP adjudication) check needs to be underway. All AWS Console access requests will be reviewed by OCTO-DE. This process can take days or weeks. For Platform Infrastructure team members, AWS access can be expedited.

If you're not certain you need access to AWS, don’t file this request. It can always be filed later if you do end up needing access. 

  1. Open an AWS Access Request Issue, explaining the type of access you'll need. Monitor the issue for updates and respond to any questions. Note: If you don’t have an E-QIP Transmittal Confirmation, do not put in an access request.

  2. When your account has been set up, you'll receive a Slack private message with your temporary password and login URL.

  3. Log in and change the temporary password immediately. AWS will prompt you to change your password during the first login.

  4. Follow the instructions for MFA setup.

    • A virtual MFA device is required to access services in the AWS cloud and programmatically via the CLI.

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