So You Want to Be a Wizard

Julia Evans, Stripe


I don't always feel like a wizard. Like many of you, I've been doing operations for a couple of years, and I still have a TON TO LEARN about how to do this "SRE" job.

But along the way, I have learned a few ways to debug tricky problems, get the information I need from my colleagues, and get my job done. We're going to talk about

  • how asking dumb questions is actually a superpower
  • how you can read the source code to the Linux kernel when all else fails
  • debugging tools that make you FEEL like a wizard
  • how understanding what your _organization_ needs can make you amazing

At the end, we'll have a better understanding of how you can get a lot of awesome stuff done even when you're not the highest level wizard on your team.

Julia Evans, Stripe

Julia Evans is a developer who works on infrastructure at Stripe. She likes making programs go fast and learning how to debug weird problems. She thinks you can be a wizard programmer.

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@conference {202157,
author = {Julia Evans},
title = {So You Want to Be a Wizard},
year = {2017},
address = {San Francisco, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = mar,

Presentation Video 

Presentation Audio