Root Cause, You're Probably Doing It Wrong

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 11:25am11:50am

TJ Gibson, PayPal


It's not very difficult to find a misbehaving application or a frozen computer; it's a lot of what SRE does either manually or using automated means. All too often, SRE is quick to call the bad software or hardware the root cause of a particular issue.

The problem is, this thinking doesn't really get to the heart of the problem. Since identifying the root cause of a problem is the primary starting point to identifying a solution to solve the problem, getting it wrong (even slightly) can lead to dire consequences and even bigger problems down the road. 

I want to challenge SRE to think differently and more critically about how they identify the root cause of the problems they encounter.

TJ Gibson, PayPal

A technologist with more than 20 years experience ranging from the USAF writing code, network engineering and system administration across Europe, to a stint with a boutique security services provider, and onto leadership positions with InfoSec and Professional Services at PayPal. I am currently settling into a new role within PayPal's SRE organization.

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

@conference {201806,
author = {TJ Gibson},
title = {Root Cause, You{\textquoteright}re Probably Doing It Wrong},
year = {2017},
address = {San Francisco, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = mar

Presentation Video 

Presentation Audio