Build Systems that Drive Business
30–31 Oct 2018: Training
31 Oct–2 Nov 2018: Tutorials & Conference
London, UK

A good SRE is hard to find; or, The power of apprenticeship

Rowan Cota (BuzzFeed)
11:2012:00 Friday, 2 November 2018
Leadership and Career Growth
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 8 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to create a strong SRE team by growing the engineers you need instead of waiting for them to fall out of the sky


Site reliability engineer is currently a hot title—there are more openings than there are SREs to fill them. Hiring experienced SREs isn’t always an option, and sometimes you need someone with more software development experience than your average operations or sysadmin veteran has.

Rowan Cota explains how BuzzFeed created a strong SRE team by growing the engineers it needed instead of waiting for them to fall out of the sky—and how you can too. Rowan turns narrative examples into a framework that illustrate the principles of a development framework anyone can apply to growing a software engineer into an SRE. And development doesn’t stop just because you’ve got the title. This framework can help any SRE team find their next great members and develop them into the engineers they were destined to be.

Photo of Rowan Cota

Rowan Cota


Rowan Cota is an associate SRE at BuzzFeed, where she works on infrastructure, with a focus on securing automated processes using Python and Go. Her current area of interest is technical ethics as practice rather than theory. When she’s not ensuring your reliable access to lists and quizzes, you can find her debating pop culture with her coworkers (#TeamBlackAndBlue). The best endorsement she has ever seen on LinkedIn was for kindness.