Algorithms and Data Structures are Super Important (and Interesting!) For SREs

Due to the evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation, SREcon20 Americas West has been rescheduled to June 2–4, 2020.
More information is available here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 9:30 am10:20 am

Adam Mckaig, Google

Core Principles

Large tech companies often test SRE candidates' familiarity with fundamental algorithms and data structures, which can sometimes seem irrelevant to the reality of the role. However, I will show why they do it: These techniques can make your systems run faster, cheaper, and more reliably.

I will show examples of real problems my team has encountered and solved (with better algorithms and data structures) while working on a very large production system: unpredictable performance, performance hot-spotting, and tail latency spikes. You will learn how to spot these problems in your own systems, and how to solve them.

I may even convince you that this stuff is super interesting, too!

Adam Mckaig, Google

Adam Mckaig is an SRE at Google in New York, where he looks after a monitoring system. Previously he built things at the New York Times, Bloomberg, and UNICEF. His favorite language is C++, which probably says it all.

@conference {247291,
author = {Adam Mckaig},
title = {Algorithms and Data Structures are Super Important (and Interesting!) For SREs },
year = {2020},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = mar,