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SRE Philosophy With Jennifer Mace

Filed under: The Playlist — Thomas @ 04:25

2023-02-06
04:25

"Even the most junior SRE on call starts having director authority. [..] There is a power in that relationship that SRE does have when they think something is in danger. And it's a power we have to be careful not to misuse. But it's important, because that's our job."

Macey is the guest on Episode 1 of SRE Prodcast, Google's podcast about Site Reliability Engineering. She goes in-depth on some of the core tenets of SRE, including risk, on-call, toil, design involvement, and more. (As a side note, I'm reasonably certain that I'm not the entertaining Belgian that was causing her team failure loops, but I'm too afraid to ask.)

The whole series is worth a listen, but just like the podcast itself - start with macey's advice.

"My definition of toil: toil is boring or repetitive work that does not gain you a permanent improvement."

Taken from The Playlist - a curated perspective on the intersection of form and content (subscribe, discuss)

How Not to Say the Wrong Thing

Filed under: The Playlist — Thomas @ 21:24

2023-02-03
21:24

"if you’re going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn’t, don’t say it. Don’t, for example, give advice."

Susan Silk's Ring Theory is a helpful model to navigate what not to say during times of grief and traumatic events.

Picture a center ring, and inside it the people most affected by what's going on. Picture a larger circle around it, with inside it the people closest to those in the center. Repeat outwards.

The person in the center ring can say anything they want to anyone, anywhere.
Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in the larger outside rings. Otherwise, you support and comfort.

Now, consider where in this diagram you are, and where the people you are talking to are.

"Comfort IN, dump OUT."

This model applies in other situations - for example, managers are better off complaining to their own managers or peers, while supporting their own reports and absorbing their complaints with empathy and compassion.

Taken from The Playlist - a curated perspective on the intersection of form and content (subscribe, discuss)

Running Anthos inside Google

Filed under: Work — Thomas @ 15:40

2022-04-20
15:40

"With everyone and their dog shifting to containers, and away from virtual machines (VMs), we realized that running vendor-provided software on VMs at Google was slowing us down. So we moved."

Bikram co-authored this blog post last year about DASInfra's experience moving workloads from Corp to Anthos. The group I run at work is going down a similar path by migrating VMs to Anthos on bare metal for on-prem.

Taken from The Playlist - a curated perspective on the intersection of form and content (subscribe, discuss)

What’s the next action?

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 11:39

2022-04-18
11:39

"Without a next action, there remains a potentially infinite gap between current reality and what you need to do."

David Allen's Getting Things Done is the non-fiction book I've reread the most in my life. I reread it every couple of years and still pick up on new ideas that I missed before, or parts that resonate better now and I'm excited to implement. Before Google, I used to give this book to new employees as a welcome gift.

The book got an update in 2015, and I haven't read the new version yet, so I'm planning an extended GTD book club at work in Q2, spreading the book out over multiple sessions. (In fact, I did just that for the young adult version of the book with my 16 year old godson back home in Belgium) If you've run a GTD book club, drop me a line!

Find out more at Getting Things Done® - David Allen's GTD® Methodology

"Too many meetings end with a vague feeling among the players that something ought to happen, and the hope that it’s not their personal job to make it so. [...] ask “So what’s the next action on this?” at the end of each discussion point in your next staff meeting"

Taken from The Playlist - a curated perspective on the intersection of form and content (subscribe, discuss)

Rebecca Solnit – Men Explain Things to Me

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 09:37

2022-04-16
09:37

"Most women fight wars on two fronts, one for whatever the putative topic is and one simply for the right to speak, to have ideas, to be acknowledged to be in possession of facts and truths, to have value, to be a human being."

In honor of International Women's Day 2022 (this past March 8th), some quotes from the 2008 article that inspired the term "mansplaining": to comment on or explain something to a woman in a condescending, overconfident, and often inaccurate or oversimplified manner.

I've certainly been (and probably still am) guilty of this behavior, and this is a standing invitation to let me know when I'm doing it to you.

Read the original article with a new introduction at Men Explain Things to Me – Guernica

"None was more astonishing than the one from the Indianapolis man who wrote in to tell me that he had “never personally or professionally shortchanged a woman” and went on to berate me for not hanging out with “more regular guys or at least do a little homework first,” gave me some advice about how to run my life, and then commented on my “feelings of inferiority.” He thought that being patronized was an experience a woman chooses to, or could choose not to have–and so the fault was all mine. Life is short; I didn’t write back."

Taken from The Playlist - a curated perspective on the intersection of form and content (subscribe, discuss)

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