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Site Reliability Engineering by Jennifer Petoff, Niall Richard Murphy, Chris Jones, Betsy Beyer

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Chapter 34. Conclusion

I read through this book with enormous pride. From the time I began working at Excite in the early ’90s, where my group was a sort of neanderthal SRE group dubbed “Software Operations,” I’ve spent my career fumbling through the process of building systems. In light of my experiences over the years in the tech industry, it’s amazing to see how the idea of SRE took root at Google and evolved so quickly. SRE has grown from a few hundred engineers when I joined Google in 2006 to over 1,000 people today, spread over a dozen sites and running what I think is the most interesting computing infrastructure on the planet.

So what has enabled the SRE organization at Google to evolve over the past decade to maintain this massive infrastructure in an intelligent, efficient, and scalable way? I think that the key to the overwhelming success of SRE is the nature of the principles by which it operates.

SRE teams are constructed so that our engineers divide their time between two equally important types of work. SREs staff on-call shifts, which entail putting our hands around the systems, observing where and how these systems break, and understanding challenges such as how to best scale them. But we also have time to then reflect and decide what to build in order to make those systems easier to manage. In essence, we have the pleasure of playing both the roles of the pilot and the engineer/designer. Our experiences running ...

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