Prodcast is Google's podcast about Site Reliability Engineering and production software. Season 2 examines the career path and growth of individuals in SRE. Season 1 discusses concepts from the SRE Book with experts at Google.
Former Google SREs, or “Xooglers”, talk with hosts MP and Steve McGhee about site reliability engineering outside of Google. What’s the difference in scale? What skills are generally valuable? And why can’t you build “SRE in a box” that jump-starts pretty much any organization?
Sabrina Farmer, VP of Engineering at Google, talks about her career journey through Site Reliability Engineering. What does management mean? What’s involved in being an effective manager? and what’s a feasibility study? Hear some great advice on how to get what you expect out of a role, wherever on the ladder it is.
Dave Reisner talks about his path to Staff SRE, from ArchLinux contributor through DevOps to software engineer. This episode emphasizes the value of strong mentoring and manager relationships, and the challenges of work-life balance.
The Google Prodcast Team has gone through quite a few iterations and hiatuses over the years, and many people have had a hand in its existence. For the longest time, a handful of SREs produced the Prodcast for the listening pleasure of the other engineers here at Google.
The credit for a lot of the project really goes to John Reese, known around Google as JTR. The Prodcast was a project he kept alive as other team members came and went. Eventually, JTR decided to explore the world outside of Google and the Prodcast was left in an uncertain state. I had been a part of the team for a while, Viv had just joined the team, and the other member of the team had to step away due to other commitments.
At this point, we decided to make a hard pivot. We decided that we wanted to make a podcast for more than just engineers at Google. We wanted to make something that would be of interest to folks across organizations and technical implementations. In his last act as part of the Prodcast, JTR put us in touch with Jennifer Petoff, Director of SRE Education, in order to have the support of the SRE organization behind us. With that, we turned to one of the most studied resources in SRE: the Google SRE Book.
We didn't want to rehash what the book already discussed in detail; we might as well have just recorded an audiobook if that was our goal. Originally, we were aiming for something in the neighborhood of an update—a revision—to the SRE Book. What we ended up with was a series of conversations with domain experts at Google that often challenged the orthodoxy of the SRE Book, sometimes entirely reframing the topic, as is particularly the case with our episode on SLOs, one of my personal favorites.
I found myself learning new things during every recording session, even though we had already met with our guests to map the episodes out! It was an absolute pleasure chatting with all our guests, to the point that we often continued talking after we finished recording. I am immensely grateful to all our guests for the time they contributed so that we may put all of this together for you. I hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed recording.
To the present and future reliability of you and your services,