The Biases Confronting SREs

Tuesday, 25 October, 2022 - 14:4515:05 CEST

David Owczarek


SRE and the underlying practices have evolved over decades, from the early days of Unix wizards through the more recent SRE and devops movements. SREs play a key role in operating services that drive massive amounts of global business and trade. But the role itself is still awkwardly incorporated into so many organizations. And with this awkwardness comes bias.

To correct for these biases, we must raise awareness by identifying them. Then we can find allies to help in the day to day work of correcting them. That means acknowledging them, having candid and open conversations about them, and then making decisions on how to mitigate them.

David Owczarek

Dave Owczarek (he/him) is a reliability expert currently running global SRE for Flexport. He has a side mission to use the arts - speaking, writing, and illustrating - to bring clarity to confusing concepts and inspire innovation in how we build and operate services. Dave has operated lots of services at scale over a 30+ year career, from the first versions of Monster board back in the 90s to some of the largest web hosting providers. When not focused on the SRE experience, you will probably find him playing a guitar somewhere, most likely a Fender.

@conference {284603,
author = {David Owczarek},
title = {The Biases Confronting {SREs}},
year = {2022},
address = {Amsterdam},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct,

Presentation Video