From Nothing to SRE: Practical Guidance on Implementing SRE in Smaller Organisations

Wednesday, 2 October, 2019 - 14:3015:00

Matthew Huxtable, Sparx


2019 is a brilliant time for SRE, and it's time to bring the field to organisations of every size! Smaller tech teams (<= ~50 engineers) often encounter unique technical and management challenges during SRE adoption. For example, a full on-call load may spell burnout, yet a typical SRE approach to risk may cause concern. Moreover, misaligned incentives impede operational excellence whenever handing back the pager could spell the end of the service—and the organisation!

This talk follows the journey of an SRE team built from scratch—starting with "Is SRE right for you?", we explore practical technical and team guidance to gain buy-in for SRE and usher cultures of continual experimentation. We discuss challenges and blindspots which may cause surprise for teams at all stages of maturity.

Whether you are preparing to establish a reliability team or you already practise SRE, the practical guidance in this talk will ensure your efforts are a success.

Matthew Huxtable, Sparx

Matt founded and now leads the Site Reliability Engineering team at Sparx, an evidence-based education technology and data science company. With a background in systems engineering and Computer Science, he spends his days maintaining and promoting reliability of the core Sparx platform, continually trying to put himself out of a job through pursuit of automation, and relentlessly encouraging his peers to do likewise. When he's not convincing Kubernetes who's really at the helm, you can find him being fascinated by aviation or dreaming about one day literally exploring the clouds as a qualified skydiver.

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@conference {239555,
author = {Matthew Huxtable},
title = {From Nothing to {SRE}: Practical Guidance on Implementing {SRE} in Smaller Organisations},
year = {2019},
address = {Dublin},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Video