The Art of SRE: Building People Networks to Amplify Impact

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 - 9:00 am–9:45 am

Daria Barteneva, Microsoft


If SRE were a well-defined science, we wouldn't need too much mentoring/coaching/cross-team groups. We could just do "the thing" and be done with it. But the truth is that our profession needs a significant component of human interaction to unlock a degree of success that would be unattainable without it.

In this talk we will look at some learnings from another field: choir direction. As a trained opera singer, I always sang in choirs—there is no better way to improve your technique! Going deeper into how choirs are balanced to elevate overall choir performance and help inexperienced singers, we will uncover an opportunity not broadly formalized in the engineering field: implicit coaching. Common in music and sports, implicit coaching is a powerful way to help engineers build and practice critical skills.

Expanding beyond traditional coaching techniques and understanding their pros and cons will allow you to find a solution that works for your individual situation and help you and your team to learn and effectively improve across different dimensions.

Daria Barteneva, Microsoft

Daria is a Principal Site Reliability Engineer in Observability Engineering in Azure. With a background in Applied Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence, and Music, Daria is passionate about machine learning, diversity in tech, and opera. In her current role, Daria is focused on changing organisational culture, processes, and platforms to improve service reliability and on-call experience. She has spoken at conferences on various aspects of reliability and human factors that play a key role in engineering practices, and has written for O'Reilly. Daria is originally from Moscow, Russia, having spent 20 years in Portugal, 10 years in Ireland, and now lives in the Pacific NorthWest.

@conference {295077,
author = {Daria Barteneva},
title = {The Art of {SRE}: Building People Networks to Amplify Impact},
year = {2024},
address = {San Francisco, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = mar

Presentation Video