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SLOs Can Help Address The Talent Shortage Crisis | Kit Merker, Nobl9


More organizations are implementing SLOs as a way of tying together how you allocate resources with things that affect the outcomes of the business. Traditionally, it was used predominantly by SREs and production engineers but that is now changing with more people seeing the benefits of SLOs and how they can help organizations focus their energy and resources where it is needed, enabling better efficiency and sustainability.

On this episode of TFiR Let’s Talk, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with Kit Merker, Chief Operating Officer at Nobl9, to discuss the key trends in the SLO space and how it is evolving. He goes on to explain the role SLOs are playing in addressing talent gap problems and how it is helping to retain developers.

When discussing how SLOs can help organizations, Merker says, “It’s really more about the decision making of how you allocate resources.  We really do need to focus our resources on the most important things, as always true in business and probably more so right now.”

Key highlights from this video interview are:

  • The second SLOconf was held earlier this year, attracting 40% more attendees than the previous year.
  • Merker feels that awareness about SLOs is growing. To help the community with SLOs, Nobl9 set up OpenSLO, a declarative format for describing SLOs in code, and an open source project called SLODLC. He explains how these projects are helping people adopt SLOs and the key trends he is seeing.
  • People can incorrectly assume that SLOs connection to business is with a set of reports. Merker describes how SLOs are more about the decision making of how you allocate resources, such as how the unreliability of my services or performance issues affects the outcomes of the business. He gives real-life examples of how SLOs tie these together.
  • Merker explains how SLOs can help companies address some of the challenges associated with talent shortages. He feels that SLOs help organizations focus on their resources by defining goals, and prioritizing what matters to the business. He discusses how they can also help with developers’ work-life balance and working remotely.
  • Adopting SLOs can be daunting with organizations feeling like their architecture is not good enough or struggling to get started. However, Merker believes it is best to set the goals first and incrementally improve them rather than wait to upgrade technologies. He explains how SLODLC can be used to help get started and the benefits of SLOs.

Connect with Kit Merker (LinkedIn)
Learn more about Nobl9 (Twitter)

The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.

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