SREday 2023

14 - 15 Sep London, UK
Site Reliability Engineering Conference

Culture Trumps YAML

Brian Murphy
Dell Technologies

Over my last few jobs, I have been brought on as a senior SRE. Instead of wrangling CI/CD or messaging queues, I found my time was better spent introducing, or reintroducing the concepts of observability, incident & change management and other core SRE topics. SRE is a positive lever for culture.

In this presentation, I will describe life as a Staff SRE, and how it turned out to be different than what I was expecting. I will describe how I got started, how I made my initial impact and the scope of it. I will then describe how I make my current impact. Over time, I have learned that my most impactful moments weren't putting out fires or scaling one more service. My impact has been most positively felt by restructuring aging processes, educating engineers and driving consistency in attitude and sometimes tooling. All of this was driven by my SRE mindset, and my ability to win over the most ardent and stubborn engineers via data and in-house champions. I will describe real situations and how I overcame them. I will also describe where I fell short, and the best ways to avoid some of these pitfalls. In this talk, I will demonstrate to other SREs and engineers how they can make similar impacts, not by becoming a 10x engineer, but rather by channeling efforts that enable others to become 10x engineers.

Brian Murphy is a Staff SRE working for Dell Technologies, Inc. He has spent the last 7 years on his SRE journey, doing every job from solo SRE to building and managing SRE teams to architecting and delivering cross company SRE focused projects. Brian is passionate about SRE culture and sharing his knowledge with others. He focuses his attitude and energy into positive cultural change. He will happily discuss all of this with you over an oat milk flatwhite.

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