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Production Engineering and the Role of Mediator-Facilitators in Your Organization by Donald Sumbry

Posted Nov 02
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SPEAKER
Donald Sumbry
Donald Sumbry
Donald Sumbry
Head of Reliability Engineering @ Airbnb

Sumbry currently leads Reliability Engineering @ Airbnb. His team is responsible for the overall reliability of the Airbnb Platform. This is a group that builds tooling, automates operational processes, ensures the quality of all products, and provides production engineering expertise to all of Airbnb.

Sumbry has almost two decades of experience working in the platform, infrastructure, and reliability engineering space but comes from a non-traditional background. Having started his career as a software engineer, Sumbry pivoted to network engineering because he wanted to learn more about the core technology that enabled the Internet and other distributed systems.

Sumbry joined several startups afterward as the Internet grew in popularity and quickly learned how to build and scale infrastructure, striving to strike the right balance between perfection and growth. Sumbry eventually started several of his own businesses because he thought he had some good ideas but he also wanted to learn more about problem-solving from a product and customer perspective. Some great (and expensive) lessons were learned here are a big reason why Sumbry is heavily customer focused today even from the infrastructure and reliability side of development.

A random bit of trivia is that Sumbry is an Electronic Music DJ and producer in his free time, as getting away from platforms and infrastructure actually helps preserve his sanity. Well, that was mostly true until computers heavily invaded the music scene eventually as well.

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Sumbry currently leads Reliability Engineering @ Airbnb. His team is responsible for the overall reliability of the Airbnb Platform. This is a group that builds tooling, automates operational processes, ensures the quality of all products, and provides production engineering expertise to all of Airbnb.

Sumbry has almost two decades of experience working in the platform, infrastructure, and reliability engineering space but comes from a non-traditional background. Having started his career as a software engineer, Sumbry pivoted to network engineering because he wanted to learn more about the core technology that enabled the Internet and other distributed systems.

Sumbry joined several startups afterward as the Internet grew in popularity and quickly learned how to build and scale infrastructure, striving to strike the right balance between perfection and growth. Sumbry eventually started several of his own businesses because he thought he had some good ideas but he also wanted to learn more about problem-solving from a product and customer perspective. Some great (and expensive) lessons were learned here are a big reason why Sumbry is heavily customer focused today even from the infrastructure and reliability side of development.

A random bit of trivia is that Sumbry is an Electronic Music DJ and producer in his free time, as getting away from platforms and infrastructure actually helps preserve his sanity. Well, that was mostly true until computers heavily invaded the music scene eventually as well.

+ Read More
SUMMARY

A mediator's role is to help people involved in a conflict come to an agreement. A facilitator's role is to help a group come to a joint decision. A mediator-facilitator is a critical part of every organization and facilitates communication and problem-solving. Their role is often ill-defined and hard to measure but they are required in any successful organization to spread information and resolve disputes.

This talk will look at one real-world application of a mediator-facilitator as a Production Engineer, how to create an organization where they will strive and how to grow and nurture them.

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