The Interruptive Nature Of Operations: A World Of Squirrels And Shiny Objects

Operations, Sutton South
Tutorial Please note: to attend, your registration must include Tutorials on Monday.
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Operations professions are notoriously interrupt-driven. When an
operations engineer is at the junior level, it is common for the
majority of the work to be reactive and interruptive “firefighting”.
As engineers move up the ladder to more senior positions, the work
becomes a mix of proactive and reactive tasks. Operations professions
tend to attract people who are by their nature more interrupt-driven
or comfortable multitasking throughout the day. At the same time,
Interruption Science shows us that that these situations are
disruptive and reduce productivity and can have significant

This tutorial is for engineers and their managers. Engineers will
learn about the different ways interruptions can be managed to reduce
stress while becoming more productive. Managers will learn about
various tools and options they have to help their staff in coping with
the onslaught of interrupts.

Photo of Avleen Vig

Avleen Vig


Avleen is a Staff Operations Engineer at Etsy, where he spends much of his time growing the infrastructure for selling knitted gloves and cross-stitch periodic tables. Before joining Etsy he worked at several large tech companies, including EarthLink and Google, as well as a number of small successful startups.

Photo of Carolyn Rowland

Carolyn Rowland


Carolyn Rowland began working with UNIX in 1986; her professional career as a UNIX system administrator took off in 1991. Carolyn chaired the USENIX LISA ‘12 conference in San Diego in December 2012. Carolyn’s two industry passions continue to be finding new ways to encourage and educate people to enter the operations professions and helping advance women in tech through strong community and sharing of best practices for dealing with existing gender issues in the computing professions.


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