📢 Webinar Alert! From Chaos to Calm: Streamlining Enterprise Ops for Proactive Reliability | Register here

Evan Niedojadlo from Peddle shares his thoughts on being an SRE

Jul 27, 2020
Last Updated:
February 10, 2023
Share this post:
Evan Niedojadlo from Peddle shares his thoughts on being an SRE
The views discussed in this article are personally held by the author/interviewee and does not in any way represent their employer

Evan Niedojadlo is an SRE at Peddle based in Austin, TX. He is currently on a small team and works on the SRE, Ops, and Security area of the organization. In his free time, he enjoys building communities, reading, music, helping others learn, and being outside.

You can find him on: Twitter, LinkedIn, Github, YouTube

Table of Contents:

    How did you become an SRE?

    I ended up leaving higher education for financial reasons. I needed to get a job to support myself at 19 and applied to a startup where I took a series of tests and was offered an engineering role. This launched a career in various engineering roles over the years which I am incredibly grateful for.

    Fast forward to about two years ago, while I was in a test automation role, I worked closely with a Senior DevOps Engineer and learned everything that I could from them. They ended up leaving for Apple and I put an unhealthy amount of time in understanding day-to-day DevOps activities. Shortly after their departure, I got pulled onto a new project and worked myself into the SRE role that was badly needed at the organization.

    What’s the most challenging part of your job?

    Understanding that you, as an individual, cannot possibly know everything. A lot of people outside of the engineering industry have an assumption that you just sit at a keyboard and magically type out memorized commands into the terminal but I don’t think that’s ever the case. The most challenging part of any of my engineering roles was at first, learning how to learn and after grasping that, quickly applying that knowledge in a business environment that has real deadlines.

    What process, tools, and techniques you can’t live without?

    At this moment, I’m fond of Oh-My-Zsh, kubectx, K9s, VIM, cURL, Go, and Python. I hear kustomize is great and want to dive into that (shout-out to Marcel Dempers for doing a video on this)

    What is your most memorable on-call story as an SRE?

    Ignoring the Principle of least privilege early in a project and providing too much access to a Kubernetes cluster, my awful justification was that it was an MVP project. An engineer manually deployed via kubectl -f apply which led to me spending time tracking down an unknown change that gifted us with some real unpleasant errors which turned into a late evening.

    What according to you is the future of SRE?

    From a k8s perspective, I feel like a lot of that will get abstracted away and we will end up with some heroku-esque platform, so a lot of the day-to-day tasks will turn more into uptime focused work. I read what Kelsey Hightower writes on this topic and take note.

    Regarding the SRE role, we will likely see this continue onward for a few years in the current state or for some teams, morph into a role that it was intended to be. Some organizations adopt some recruiter/FAANG-driven titles and the workload shifts based on the context of the company. The SDET role was infamous for this.

    *waves magic wand*
    “You’re all SRE’s now”
    *continues doing the same work*

    There was an argument years ago in the test community that test automation will consume the role and everyone will be an SDET from the readings of “How Google Tests Software”. However, I didn’t see that fully happening, so many companies and organizations work at varying levels of maturity that a leading organization making a change can take years to appropriately travel across other shops. I spoke with a company a few months earlier and they were still in the process of building an SRE team and ultimately trying to define what the average workload would look like based on their context. Not everyone has Google workloads and we end up with hybrid roles, kind of like what I’m doing now due to team size constraints.

    Any productivity hacks that you would give to new SREs?

    Work on something to understand it and from there, see if it can be automated or addressed in another approach. When I worked on testing, I would walk-through a scenario just like a user and automate that walk-through via selenium and pytest for anything business critical, I apply this to SRE with automating what I think is realistic.

    What are some of the things people get wrong about this role?

    That it’s strictly an ops role. In DevOps, if I deploy something or build out any associated infrastructure I need to take an SRE approach and own whatever that is. My “customers” can be internal and we should still have an SLO, Observability, etc. on whatever that deployment might be.

    What are some of the best practices you’ve picked up along the way?

    Implement something within a realistic timeframe and iterate on that. I get that not everyone has that luxury but this is something that works for me. Push your organization to address technical debt in some way, every sprint.

    Is there any book, video, talk, or tech that has inspired you lately, and why?

    I always enjoy seeing new work from Julia Evans (b0rk) over at https://wizardzines.com/. I grew up playing in punk bands and would always read DIY zines picked up at merch tables, so it was nostalgic seeing this approach to technology.

    What according to you makes a good SRE?

    Having the ability to stay cool. It’s easier said than done but when systems go down you have to try and keep a level head while also looking at the clock, it can be incredibly scary. If you don’t already, try having a Game Day test or runbooks at the ready.

    Trying not to panic also applies to the information overload that we get in the industry as engineers, with new tooling, languages, etc. all while trying to balance life on top of that. At the end of the day, we are all human and can’t forget to take care of ourselves too.

    Follow the journey of more such inspiring SREs from around the globe through our SRE Speak Series.

    What you should do now
    • Schedule a demo with Squadcast to learn about the platform, answer your questions, and evaluate if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    • Curious about how Squadcast can assist you in implementing SRE best practices? Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    • Enjoyed the article? Explore further insights on the best SRE practices.
    • Schedule a demo with Squadcast to learn about the platform, answer your questions, and evaluate if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    • Curious about how Squadcast can assist you in implementing SRE best practices? Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    • Enjoyed the article? Explore further insights on the best SRE practices.
    • Get a walkthrough of our platform through this Interactive Demo and see how it can solve your specific challenges.
    • See how Charter Leveraged Squadcast to Drive Client Success With Robust Incident Management.
    • Share this blog post with someone you think will find it useful. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Reddit
    • Get a walkthrough of our platform through this Interactive Demo and see how it can solve your specific challenges.
    • See how Charter Leveraged Squadcast to Drive Client Success With Robust Incident Management
    • Share this blog post with someone you think will find it useful. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Reddit
    • Get a walkthrough of our platform through this Interactive Demo and see how it can solve your specific challenges.
    • See how Charter Leveraged Squadcast to Drive Client Success With Robust Incident Management
    • Share this blog post with someone you think will find it useful. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Reddit
    What you should do now?
    Here are 3 ways you can continue your journey to learn more about Unified Incident Management
    Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    See how Charter Leveraged Squadcast to Drive Client Success With Robust Incident Management.
    Share the article
    Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or LinkedIn.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Experience the benefits of Squadcast's Incident Management and On-Call solutions firsthand.
    Compare our plans and find the perfect fit for your business.
    See Redis' Journey to Efficient Incident Management through alert noise reduction With Squadcast.
    Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Experience the benefits of Squadcast's Incident Management and On-Call solutions firsthand.
    Compare Squadcast & PagerDuty / Opsgenie
    Compare and see if Squadcast is the right fit for your needs.
    Compare our plans and find the perfect fit for your business.
    Learn how Scoro created a solid foundation for better on-call practices with Squadcast.
    Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Experience the benefits of Squadcast's Incident Management and On-Call solutions firsthand.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Learn how Scoro created a solid foundation for better on-call practices with Squadcast.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    Enjoyed the article? Explore further insights on the best SRE practices.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Experience the benefits of Squadcast's Incident Management and On-Call solutions firsthand.
    Enjoyed the article? Explore further insights on the best SRE practices.
    Written By:
    July 27, 2020
    July 27, 2020
    Share this post:
    Subscribe to our LinkedIn Newsletter to receive more educational content
    Subscribe now

    Subscribe to our latest updates

    Enter your Email Id
    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    FAQ
    More from
    Squadcast Community
    How Do You Migrate from RBAC to OBAC with Terraform?
    How Do You Migrate from RBAC to OBAC with Terraform?
    May 6, 2024
    Helm Dry Run: Guide & Best Practices
    Helm Dry Run: Guide & Best Practices
    August 27, 2023
    Azure Monitoring Agent: Key Features & Benefits
    Azure Monitoring Agent: Key Features & Benefits
    August 13, 2023

    Evan Niedojadlo from Peddle shares his thoughts on being an SRE

    Evan Niedojadlo from Peddle shares his thoughts on being an SRE
    Jul 27, 2020
    Last Updated:
    Jul 27, 2020
    The views discussed in this article are personally held by the author/interviewee and does not in any way represent their employer

    Evan Niedojadlo is an SRE at Peddle based in Austin, TX. He is currently on a small team and works on the SRE, Ops, and Security area of the organization. In his free time, he enjoys building communities, reading, music, helping others learn, and being outside.

    You can find him on: Twitter, LinkedIn, Github, YouTube

    How did you become an SRE?

    I ended up leaving higher education for financial reasons. I needed to get a job to support myself at 19 and applied to a startup where I took a series of tests and was offered an engineering role. This launched a career in various engineering roles over the years which I am incredibly grateful for.

    Fast forward to about two years ago, while I was in a test automation role, I worked closely with a Senior DevOps Engineer and learned everything that I could from them. They ended up leaving for Apple and I put an unhealthy amount of time in understanding day-to-day DevOps activities. Shortly after their departure, I got pulled onto a new project and worked myself into the SRE role that was badly needed at the organization.

    What’s the most challenging part of your job?

    Understanding that you, as an individual, cannot possibly know everything. A lot of people outside of the engineering industry have an assumption that you just sit at a keyboard and magically type out memorized commands into the terminal but I don’t think that’s ever the case. The most challenging part of any of my engineering roles was at first, learning how to learn and after grasping that, quickly applying that knowledge in a business environment that has real deadlines.

    What process, tools, and techniques you can’t live without?

    At this moment, I’m fond of Oh-My-Zsh, kubectx, K9s, VIM, cURL, Go, and Python. I hear kustomize is great and want to dive into that (shout-out to Marcel Dempers for doing a video on this)

    What is your most memorable on-call story as an SRE?

    Ignoring the Principle of least privilege early in a project and providing too much access to a Kubernetes cluster, my awful justification was that it was an MVP project. An engineer manually deployed via kubectl -f apply which led to me spending time tracking down an unknown change that gifted us with some real unpleasant errors which turned into a late evening.

    What according to you is the future of SRE?

    From a k8s perspective, I feel like a lot of that will get abstracted away and we will end up with some heroku-esque platform, so a lot of the day-to-day tasks will turn more into uptime focused work. I read what Kelsey Hightower writes on this topic and take note.

    Regarding the SRE role, we will likely see this continue onward for a few years in the current state or for some teams, morph into a role that it was intended to be. Some organizations adopt some recruiter/FAANG-driven titles and the workload shifts based on the context of the company. The SDET role was infamous for this.

    *waves magic wand*
    “You’re all SRE’s now”
    *continues doing the same work*

    There was an argument years ago in the test community that test automation will consume the role and everyone will be an SDET from the readings of “How Google Tests Software”. However, I didn’t see that fully happening, so many companies and organizations work at varying levels of maturity that a leading organization making a change can take years to appropriately travel across other shops. I spoke with a company a few months earlier and they were still in the process of building an SRE team and ultimately trying to define what the average workload would look like based on their context. Not everyone has Google workloads and we end up with hybrid roles, kind of like what I’m doing now due to team size constraints.

    Any productivity hacks that you would give to new SREs?

    Work on something to understand it and from there, see if it can be automated or addressed in another approach. When I worked on testing, I would walk-through a scenario just like a user and automate that walk-through via selenium and pytest for anything business critical, I apply this to SRE with automating what I think is realistic.

    What are some of the things people get wrong about this role?

    That it’s strictly an ops role. In DevOps, if I deploy something or build out any associated infrastructure I need to take an SRE approach and own whatever that is. My “customers” can be internal and we should still have an SLO, Observability, etc. on whatever that deployment might be.

    What are some of the best practices you’ve picked up along the way?

    Implement something within a realistic timeframe and iterate on that. I get that not everyone has that luxury but this is something that works for me. Push your organization to address technical debt in some way, every sprint.

    Is there any book, video, talk, or tech that has inspired you lately, and why?

    I always enjoy seeing new work from Julia Evans (b0rk) over at https://wizardzines.com/. I grew up playing in punk bands and would always read DIY zines picked up at merch tables, so it was nostalgic seeing this approach to technology.

    What according to you makes a good SRE?

    Having the ability to stay cool. It’s easier said than done but when systems go down you have to try and keep a level head while also looking at the clock, it can be incredibly scary. If you don’t already, try having a Game Day test or runbooks at the ready.

    Trying not to panic also applies to the information overload that we get in the industry as engineers, with new tooling, languages, etc. all while trying to balance life on top of that. At the end of the day, we are all human and can’t forget to take care of ourselves too.

    Follow the journey of more such inspiring SREs from around the globe through our SRE Speak Series.

    What you should do now
    • Schedule a demo with Squadcast to learn about the platform, answer your questions, and evaluate if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    • Curious about how Squadcast can assist you in implementing SRE best practices? Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    • Enjoyed the article? Explore further insights on the best SRE practices.
    • Schedule a demo with Squadcast to learn about the platform, answer your questions, and evaluate if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    • Curious about how Squadcast can assist you in implementing SRE best practices? Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    • Enjoyed the article? Explore further insights on the best SRE practices.
    • Get a walkthrough of our platform through this Interactive Demo and see how it can solve your specific challenges.
    • See how Charter Leveraged Squadcast to Drive Client Success With Robust Incident Management.
    • Share this blog post with someone you think will find it useful. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Reddit
    • Get a walkthrough of our platform through this Interactive Demo and see how it can solve your specific challenges.
    • See how Charter Leveraged Squadcast to Drive Client Success With Robust Incident Management
    • Share this blog post with someone you think will find it useful. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Reddit
    • Get a walkthrough of our platform through this Interactive Demo and see how it can solve your specific challenges.
    • See how Charter Leveraged Squadcast to Drive Client Success With Robust Incident Management
    • Share this blog post with someone you think will find it useful. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Reddit
    What you should do now?
    Here are 3 ways you can continue your journey to learn more about Unified Incident Management
    Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    See how Charter Leveraged Squadcast to Drive Client Success With Robust Incident Management.
    Share the article
    Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or LinkedIn.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Experience the benefits of Squadcast's Incident Management and On-Call solutions firsthand.
    Compare our plans and find the perfect fit for your business.
    See Redis' Journey to Efficient Incident Management through alert noise reduction With Squadcast.
    Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Experience the benefits of Squadcast's Incident Management and On-Call solutions firsthand.
    Compare Squadcast & PagerDuty / Opsgenie
    Compare and see if Squadcast is the right fit for your needs.
    Compare our plans and find the perfect fit for your business.
    Learn how Scoro created a solid foundation for better on-call practices with Squadcast.
    Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Experience the benefits of Squadcast's Incident Management and On-Call solutions firsthand.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Learn how Scoro created a solid foundation for better on-call practices with Squadcast.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Discover the platform's capabilities through our Interactive Demo.
    Enjoyed the article? Explore further insights on the best SRE practices.
    We’ll show you how Squadcast works and help you figure out if Squadcast is the right fit for you.
    Experience the benefits of Squadcast's Incident Management and On-Call solutions firsthand.
    Enjoyed the article? Explore further insights on the best SRE practices.
    Written By:
    July 27, 2020
    July 27, 2020
    Share this post:
    In this blog:
      Subscribe to our LinkedIn Newsletter to receive more educational content
      Subscribe now

      Subscribe to our latest updates

      Thank you! Your submission has been received!
      Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
      FAQ
      Learn how organizations are using Squadcast
      to maintain and improve upon their Reliability metrics
      Learn how organizations are using Squadcast to maintain and improve upon their Reliability metrics
      mapgears
      "Mapgears simplified their complex On-call Alerting process with Squadcast.
      Squadcast has helped us aggregate alerts coming in from hundreds...
      bibam
      "Bibam found their best PagerDuty alternative in Squadcast.
      By moving to Squadcast from Pagerduty, we have seen a serious reduction in alert fatigue, allowing us to focus...
      tanner
      "Squadcast helped Tanner gain system insights and boost team productivity.
      Squadcast has integrated seamlessly into our DevOps and on-call team's workflows. Thanks to their reliability...
      Alexandre Lessard
      System Analyst
      Martin do Santos
      Platform and Architecture Tech Lead
      Sandro Franchi
      CTO
      Squadcast is a leader in Incident Management on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Mid-Market IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Americas IT Alerting on G2 Best IT Management Products 2022 Squadcast is a leader in Europe IT Alerting on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Mid-Market Asia Pacific Incident Management on G2 Users love Squadcast on G2
      Squadcast awarded as "Best Software" in the IT Management category by G2 🎉 Read full report here.
      What our
      customers
      have to say
      mapgears
      "Mapgears simplified their complex On-call Alerting process with Squadcast.
      Squadcast has helped us aggregate alerts coming in from hundreds of services into one single platform. We no longer have hundreds of...
      Alexandre Lessard
      System Analyst
      bibam
      "Bibam found their best PagerDuty alternative in Squadcast.
      By moving to Squadcast from Pagerduty, we have seen a serious reduction in alert fatigue, allowing us to focus...
      Martin do Santos
      Platform and Architecture Tech Lead
      tanner
      "Squadcast helped Tanner gain system insights and boost team productivity.
      Squadcast has integrated seamlessly into our DevOps and on-call team's workflows. Thanks to their reliability metrics we have...
      Sandro Franchi
      CTO
      Revamp your Incident Response.
      Peak Reliability
      Easier, Faster, More Automated with SRE.
      Squadcast is a leader in Incident Management on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Mid-Market IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Americas IT Alerting on G2 Best IT Management Products 2024 Squadcast is a leader in Europe IT Alerting on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Enterprise Incident Management on G2 Users love Squadcast on G2
      Squadcast is a leader in Incident Management on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Mid-Market IT Service Management (ITSM) Tools on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Americas IT Alerting on G2
      Best IT Management Products 2024 Squadcast is a leader in Europe IT Alerting on G2 Squadcast is a leader in Enterprise Incident Management on G2
      Users love Squadcast on G2
      Copyright © Squadcast Inc. 2017-2024