Building a Diverse SRE Talent Pipeline

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 9:50 am10:35 am

Salim Virji, Google; Alex Gornet, Major League Hacking


Most early-career SRE hires are university interns, but what about students who would be great interns if they picked up some systems skills? In particular, what about those of underrepresented groups who would be amazing interns if they had only discovered SRE?

To overcome these barriers, Google partnered with Major League Hacking to deliver the SRE Fellowship, an initiative to inspire and train future technologists on the skills needed to launch SRE careers. Many participants come from diverse backgrounds and wouldn't normally be recruited through traditional pathways, but after 12 weeks of immersive, project-based learning they walk away with a firm grasp of what SRE is all about and the skills needed to pursue a career in the field.

In this talk you'll learn why we partnered together, how to administer the initiative, and we'll share our learnings. Our hope is that attendees leave with the confidence to champion similar programs.

Salim Virji, Google

Salim Virji develops reliable engineering practices and processes for Google's SRE organization, and has previously developed distributed consensus and storage systems. Salim's interests include distributed systems and machine learning. Salim received an AB in Classics from the University of Chicago and is a New York City Master Composter.

Alex Gornet, Major League Hacking

After graduating from the University of Louisville with a degree in chemistry and a short stint playing professional tennis, Alex Gornet began his journey in the world of technical education. Now at Major League Hacking (MLH), he oversees delivery of the Fellowship program, an educational pathway and career accelerator for early career developers and technologists, to MLH partners. His interests include AI, yoga, and gluten free baking.

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@conference {286214,
author = {Salim Virji and Alex Gornet},
title = {Building a Diverse {SRE} Talent Pipeline},
year = {2023},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = mar

Presentation Video