The Never-Ending Story of Site Reliability

Thursday, 31 August, 2017 - 15:0015:30

Kurt Andersen, LinkedIn


I strongly believe that the commonly proposed bogey-man of "automating ourselves out of a job" betrays a simplistic and highly incomplete understanding of the SRE field. SRE teams can always grow and develop.

The Dreyfus model is a model of professional expertise that plots an individual's progression through a series of five levels: novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and expert. The idea in this talk is to take aspects of SRE practice (such as monitoring, measurement against SLOs, incident management and postmortems, etc) and provide indications of what these look like at the different Dreyfus levels - not so much at an individual level as at an organizational one.

Often, companies and teams will show uneven levels of proficiency - frequently due to pressures to develop some areas more than others. The intent of this talk is to provide a framework within which attendees can gauge their own company's progress and anticipate/plan for growing weak areas.

The concepts for this talk have emerged through exposure to companies at different skill/experience levels. It is not by any means definitive, but I hope to provide a useful rubric for discussion.

Kurt Andersen, LinkedIn

Kurt Andersen was one of the co-chairs for SREcon17Americas and has been active in the anti-abuse community for over 15 years. He is currently the senior IC for the Product SRE team at LinkedIn. He also works as one of the Program Committee Chairs for the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group ( He has spoken at M3AAWG, Velocity, SREcon(US), and SANOG on various aspects of reliability, authentication and security.

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@conference {205540,
author = {Kurt Andersen},
title = {The {Never-Ending} Story of Site Reliability},
year = {2017},
address = {Dublin},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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