I’ve been giving talks and ranting in tweets for several years now, and the same question crops up again and again: “How do I get into SRE? How do I get there from here?”

My answer is usually rambling and long. So long, that sometimes I don’t even write back. There is simply too much to say! Too much history. Too much context. Too many factors for each person’s individual situation.

So, here it is. My formal ramblings on how to get into SRE: what I think it is, how I got there, how you can get there, and how to do it. This post is a guide and meant for bookmarking, referencing, and sharing. It provides insights that you can map to your specific situation to get you started on your specific path.

I hope you find this useful in your journey.

One of the most powerful concepts in programming is branching, which most new programmers learn as If-Else statements. This approachable logic flow makes it easy to navigate choices and is present in nearly every codebase out there. In some languages there is a variation of this logic flow called a case statement (or switch statement), which is a cleaner way of dealing with many If-Else sequences.

However, there is yet another variation that, when used in the right circumstances, can make your code more elegant and your program more performant: the function dispatch table.

2018, the year that felt like ten. Time hopped and jogged and stood still, twisted me all around, chewed me up and spat me out with every horrible update of the news cycle.

Have you been trying to profile your Kubernetes applications with perf? Maybe you want to see what all the FlameGraphs fuss is about? If your version of Docker was upgraded within the last year, you’ll likely run into issues.

Despite working in tech with an engineering title, my only degree is a BFA in Film and Animation. While some schools emphasize critique in their film programs, mine was more technical and hands-on. That meant I was shooting 16mm film by my second week, organizing set crews by my second quarter, and did everything from directing commercials to writing my own imaging codecs.

It’s also how I learned about foot-candles.