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SRE Conf 2023

Availability and reliability 24/7- the SRE life



Schedule for the conference on 24 November is published.

Why SRE Conf?

When any organization goes from product market fit or beta test phase to production rollout, or from first x customers to 10x or 100x customers and starts scaling, they typically start running into challenges with systems stability and resiliency. These challenges change with every phase of growth. So does the need for having a SRE team and/or a DevOps team, and the role these teams play.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to what roles these teams should play, and which tools various teams should use to track the metrics and processes involved. But there are some common building blocks that apply in similar (and different) ways and forms for most teams. The idea of the SRE Conference is to get together and to know about these building blocks, share and learn about the themes that fall under the SRE umbrella.

SRE Conf tracks

SRE Conf is a two-track conference. The track, “Culture, career and Evolution” is more focused on leadership, team, and organizational topics while the “Stories from the Trenches” track will cover real-world scenarios, and lessons learned which will help engineers and engineering teams to upskill themselves by understanding experiences from their industry peers.

Culture, career, and evolution

  1. SRE v/s DevOps v/s Platform Engineering teams in organizations.
  2. Hiring and building SRE teams.
  3. Blameless postmortems.
  4. Role of AI in SRE/DevOps/Platforms.
  5. FinOps and cost optimization.
  6. SRE Anti-patterns

Stories from the trenches:

  1. Incident management.
  2. Change management.
  3. Scalability and performance.
  4. SLA/SLO and golden signals.
  5. Security and DevSecOps.
  6. Systems and networking.

Key takeaways for participants

  1. Improved understanding of organizational needs and requirements.
  2. Enhanced optimization skills.
  3. Networking opportunities.
  4. Knowledge sharing and community building.

Who should participate

  • Members of SRE, DevOps or platform teams.
  • A software developer or manager who is responsible for services running on any cloud platform or on-prem data center.
  • Technology leader of an engineering team that manages critical systems which should have minimal to zero downtime.


If you are interested in speaking at the conference, submit your talk idea here. The editors - Sarika Atri, Safeer CM and Saurabh Hirani - will review your talk description and give feedback.

Speakers will also receive feedback and assistance during rehearsals from past speakers such as Sitaram Shelke.

Guidelines for speaking, speaker honorarium policy, and travel grant policy details are published here.

About the editors

This conference themes were set up by Sarika Atri and Safeer CM. Together with Saurabh Hirani, the three editors have:

  1. Reviewed the talks.
  2. Set up the editorial workflow.
  3. Finalized talk selections.
  4. Curated the schedule.

Sarika Atri is Software Architect with over twenty years experience in the industry. Sarika was reviewer for Rootconf Cloud Costs Optimization conference held in July 2023.
Safeer CM is Senior Staff SRE at Flipkart. He is author of Architecting Cloud-Native Serverless Solutions published by Packt.
Saurabh Hirani is former editor of Rootconf, and a passionate member of the community. Saurabh is SRE at,. He has a keen interest in mentoring speakers.

Become a Rootconf Member to join

SRE Conf is a community-funded conference. It will be held in-person. Attendance is open to Rootconf members only. Support this conference with a membership. If you have questions about participation, post a comment here.


Sponsorship slots are open for:

  1. Tool and solutions providers.
  2. Companies interested in tech branding for hiring.

Email sponsorship queries to

Contact information

Join the Rootconf Telegram group at or follow @rootconf on Twitter.
For inquiries, contact Rootconf at +91-7676332020.

Hosted by

Rootconf is a community-funded platform for activities and discussions on the following topics: Site Reliability Engineering (SRE). Infrastructure costs, including Cloud Costs - and optimization. Security - including Cloud Security. more

Biju Chacko


How to Hire SREs

Submitted Oct 27, 2023

Short Abstract

One of the biggest challenges of leading SREs is increasing capacity to respond to business need. Demand almost always outstrips supply. Hiring is usually the fastest solution but only if it is planned and executed well.

In the past 25 years, bitter experience has taught me that there a dozen different ways to mess up hiring. The ability to hire predictably can make a team twice as successful. Conversely, bad hiring skills cause expensive, long term problems that can significantly hold back a team.

In this talk we’ll discuss my strategies hiring SREs successfully and
how to apply them.


One of the biggest challenges of leading SRE teams is increasing capacity in response to business needs. Business demand tends to change at short notice and expects a quick response. Hiring is usually the only method that can respond quickly enough. Even then it is often much slower than demand requires and needs careful planning and execution for any hope of success.

Many people who are new to hiring often assume that the most difficult task is to validate the skills of candidates. In response they invest a lot of time and energy into devising the ideal selection process but nevertheless fail to get the outcomes they need.

In truth, in most SRE organisations hiring is a complex, long term process. Each of the key processes: planning, sourcing, filtering, selection, negotiation, closing, and on-boarding requires careful consideration for successful hiring. Mistakes in any of these steps can cause everything from slight delays to long, expensive replacement programs.

Over the past 25 years I have been involved in hiring SREs, Devs and more. I’ve learned that while there is no single correct way to hire, there are strategies that have worked well for me.

In this talk I’ll discuss how I approach recruitment, what has worked for me, some tips and things to avoid. We’ll start by looking at the primary challenges that your hiring process will have to address. Why should it always be looked at as a long term, ongoing process.

We will go on to what your SRE team should look like. How do you decide how many people you need? What experience will they need? We will discuss the pros and cons of seniors versus juniors and the benefits of hiring newbies.

We’ll take a short diversion into the intrecacies of sourcing candidates, touching on the various methods and their effectiveness. A key aspect of sourcing is improving the accuracy of sourced profiles in terms meeting of the requirement.

When looking at the process of taking an SRE from being a new candidate to a new hire, we’ll discuss the problems of keeping it sustainable, cost-effective and candidate-friendly. We’ll look at what a selection process can and can’t tell you about an SRE. How is campus hiring different? How do you deal with low budgets? How is it more effective to hire ethically?

In the last few years the task of ensuring that a candidate who has accepted a job offer actually joins has become a new kind of challege. Why has this happened and what are successful strategies to address this?

We’ll end with discussing on-boarding, alternatives to traditional interviews and alternatives to hiring itself.

Along with technology, hiring is the most important factor that influences the success of an SRE team. In my experience, companies that cannot successfully and reliably hire, fail the longevity test. Unfortunately, most engineers see hiring as an unpleasant distraction from so-called real work. With this talk, I hope more SREs will understand the criticality of hiring and also that it is a fascinating problem space for them.


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Hosted by

Rootconf is a community-funded platform for activities and discussions on the following topics: Site Reliability Engineering (SRE). Infrastructure costs, including Cloud Costs - and optimization. Security - including Cloud Security. more