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Friday, August 31 • 12:15 - 12:40
What Medicine Can Teach Us about Being On-Call

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Being on-call is a critical and stressful part of being a SRE. While most organizations want and are willing to take steps to reduce the on-call burden, few have used quantitative research methods to try and optimize being on-call.

At the same time, being on-call is a part of most physician’s practice. This is especially true for medical residents—postgraduate doctors in training—who can be on-call as often as once every three days. The field of medicine has undertaken numerous studies and research projects to optimize the handling of on-call duties. These studies have explored work-life balance, ways to decrease the number of critical incidents (which can literally mean life or death), as well as reducing mistakes.

This talk breaks down the techniques and research that have led to practices that can be adopted for SREs. It also looks at issues that remain unsolved in both fields, like pages sent to the wrong team or those that shouldn’t have been sent at all. Finally, it concludes with words of warning that SREs are not physicians, and as with any interdisciplinary study, we must be mindful of these differences when borrowing techniques.

avatar for Daniel Turner

Daniel Turner

Senior Software Developer, Shopify
Daniel Turner is a senior software developer at Shopify. He is part of the team building Shopify’s Kubernetes-based platform-as-a-service. He came to the team after working on deploying and running Kubernetes in Shopify’s data centers. Daniel is an experienced speaker and currently... Read More →

Friday August 31, 2018 12:15 - 12:40 CEST
1 - Rheinlandsaal Ballroom A