Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

Low Context DevOps: A New Way of Improving SRE Team Culture

Date and Time

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm


Online at Jitsi


Tom Limoncelli , SRE Team Manager , Stack Overflow - tal whatexit org


“Low-Context DevOps Culture”: a framework for improving team culture to optimize onboarding, remote work, and project sustainability


“Low and high context cultures” is an anthropological concept, which Tom leverages to create a framework for creating more effective SRE culture.

A high-context DevOps culture is one where most knowledge is unspoken, which can be very frustrating for new employees and a disaster in a “remote only”/COVID-19 team.

A low-context DevOps culture is one where the info you need to do your job is available, visible, and accessible. Creating a low-context culture improves remote teamwork, new-hire onboarding, enables project hopping, and helps you better handle a page you receive at 2am. Techniques include: smart defaults, “make the right way, the lazy way”, and documentation at the right time and place.


Tom manages the SRE team at Stack Overflow in New York City. He is an internatio nally recognized author, speaker, system administrator and DevOps advocate. He has received the Usenix LISA Outstanding Achievement Award. Previously he's worked Google, Bell Labs / Lucent, AT&T and others.

Meeting Notes


  1. Everything Sysadmin
  2. Tom's website

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