Christina Yakomin


KEYNOTE: Iterative Enterprise SRE Transformation

It’s easy to get discouraged reading books about industry best practices that say things like “always test in prod!” and “10 deploys a day!!” At times, they can make the goal of being a high-functioning DevOps organization feel out-of-reach for large enterprises, where changes to the way we operate take time to roll out. A few years ago, Vanguard started its journey to adopt Site Reliability Engineering across the IT division, and that transformation effort is still underway today. In this talk, we will share where we started, how far we’ve come since then, and all of the steps we’ve taken along the way, as we’ve worked to evangelize changes to the way we measure availability, enable experimentation, leverage highly-available architecture patterns, and learn from failure.

In this presentation, we’ll focus primarily on the topic of how we monitor and measure availability - developing SLIs and SLOs, managing an error budget, leveraging Honeycomb for observability. We’ll also touch on other aspects of our SRE transformation at a higher level, including home-grown tools for self-service chaos engineering, self-service load testing, emerging cloud platforms (including serverless), proactive failure modes and effects analysis, and blameless post-incident reviews.

More about Christina Yakomin

Christina is the Senior Technical Lead for Site Reliability Engineering in Vanguard’s Chief Technology Office. She has worked at the company’s Malvern, PA headquarters since graduating from Villanova University with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. Throughout her career, she has developed an expansive skill set in front- and back-end web development, as well as cloud infrastructure and automation, with a specialization in Site Reliability Engineering. She has earned several Amazon Web Services certifications, including the Solutions Architect - Professional. Christina has also worked closely with the Women’s Initiative for Leadership Success at Vanguard, both internally at the company and externally in the local community, to further the career advancement of women and girls - in particular within the tech industry. In her spare time (and when it is safe to do so!), Christina is passionate about traveling; she has visited over 20 different countries and 25 U.S. states so far!