3D Models of Distributed Systems

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

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 11:30 am12:05 pm

Kim Schlesinger, Fairwinds Ops


The distributed systems we build and maintain are mind-boggling in their complexity, but our main tool for understanding the components and their relationships are diagrams with two-dimensional boxes and arrows. These models aren't sufficient, and we owe it to ourselves and our engineering teams to explore more accurate and engaging ways of representing our computing architecture. This talk will show you how to build 3D models of distributed systems using materials from craft stores, discuss why the process of building these models will increase your team's understanding of your systems, and give you tips on how to facilitate this kind of unorthodox exploration with your team.

Kim Schlesinger, Fairwinds Ops

Kim Schlesinger is a Site Reliability Engineer at Fairwinds Ops. Prior to being an SRE, Kim was an Instructional Designer at a codeschool, and before that an elementary school special education teacher. Kim loves working at the intersection of tech and adult education.

In her spare time, Kim is a CrossFit athlete and the Head of Education and Content for Develop Denver, a 2-day conference for developers, designers, strategists, and tech leaders.

@conference {247328,
author = {Kim Schlesinger},
title = {3D Models of Distributed Systems},
year = {2020},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = mar,