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Digests » 406
WTF is SRE? It’s about what risks you can take and which trade-offs to make between developer velocity, system stability, technical debt and risk taking. Container Solutions presents a new WTFinar that tackles the beginning of understanding SRE. Join Nathen Harvey from Google to learn about service level indicators (SLIs) and service level objectives (SLOs) - components of error budgets. 9th February, 15:00 CET
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I recently received a vintage IBM paperweight from the early 1970s that showcases some memory chips.1 When IBM started using integrated circuits in the late 1960s, they packed the chips in square metal modules called Monolithic Systems Technology (MST). The paperweight illustrates the manufacturing steps for an MST module as a silicon wafer was cut into silicon dies, mounted on a square ceramic substrate, and wrapped in a thumbnail-sized metal package.
There are approximately 7.5x10^18 grains of sand on Earth. This story is about finding changes in an equation that has a difference of approximately 1e-18 out of hundreds of billions of calculations. That is 7 grains of sand that are different to what we expect across the entire planet Earth.
"Systems design" is a branch of study that tries to find universal architectural patterns that are valid across disciplines. You might think that's not a possibility. Back in university, students used to tease the Systems Design Engineers, calling it "boxes and arrows" engineering. Not real engineering, you see, since it didn't touch anything tangible, like buildings, motors, hydrochloric acid, or, uh, electrons.
I believe the book we should be recommending is A Philosophy of Software Design by John Ousterhout. In this post I want to spend a bit of time reviewing it and giving an overview of the contents, and then I want to explain why, in my opinion, it is such a good recommendation.