Ironies of Automation: A Comedy in Three Parts

Friday, June 14, 2019 - 4:00 pm4:20 pm

Tanner Lund, Microsoft


As much as we often wish we could eliminate that "squishy humans" from the loop in order to maximize our system reliability, automation usually has unintended consequences. "The Ironies of Automation," a seminal paper on the problems that automation, spelled these out quite clearly and still stands the test of time—over 30 years later.

Join our fictional SRE as they attempt to automate a set of tasks. As the side effects and newly introduced problems continue to mount, they will learn an important lesson about human error, and how to strike the all important balance for SREs between human and machine.

Tanner Lund, Microsoft

Tanner Lund has been a part of Azure's SRE organization from the beginning. He has worked in a variety of roles, including crisis management, developing SREBot, building data pipelines, and leading services through SRE/DevOps transitions. Throughout it all his focus has been on understanding complex systems and how we achieve our goals through them, seeking to unlock their secrets.

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@conference {233261,
author = {Tanner Lund},
title = {Ironies of Automation: A Comedy in Three Parts},
year = {2019},
address = {Singapore},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jun

Presentation Video