Make Haste Slowly: Balancing SRE Diligence in Urgency Driven Organizations

Wednesday, 30 August, 2017 - 11:3012:00

Jason Hiltz-Laforge, Shopify


Shopify is a commerce platform which has grown to power hundreds of thousands of businesses in a little over ten years. Along with the company, the production engineering organization has evolved from a founder's part time job to a team of over seventy people. Because of all that rapid and continued growth, the culture highly rewards speed and urgency. "Move fast, break things" is fine…unless you are responsible for site reliability and availability. And the databases. Especially the databases.

This talk is about the tension between an urgency driven organization and the diligent SRE teams that operate within it. We'll examine how to build, nurture, and support those teams. We'll look at how to celebrate and reward them for being prudent, cautious, and skeptical. And because it is the deliberate pace of these teams that allows the rest of the organization to move quickly, we'll dive into how to concretely measure the benefits and sell them as positives to the rest of the organization. Attendees will leave with tools and techniques to highlight the importance of their work as SREs, when to trade speed for diligence and how to move fast and stay sane—all without cutting corners.

Jason Hiltz-Laforge, Shopify

I'm a production engineering lead at Shopify, where I try not to break too many things at once. Apart from computers, I enjoy naming things and trying to convince my coworkers that all food is essentially salad. Outside of work, I like spending time with my wife and two daughters. If you come too close, I'll probably show you a picture.

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@conference {205464,
author = {Jason Hiltz-Laforge},
title = {Make Haste Slowly: Balancing {SRE} Diligence in Urgency Driven Organizations},
year = {2017},
address = {Dublin},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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