Todd Underwood - On lessons from running ML systems at Google for a decade, what it takes to be a ML SRE, challenges with generalized ML platforms and much more - #10

Todd Underwood


Todd Underwood is a Sr Director of Engineering at Google where he leads Site Reliability Engineering teams for Machine Learning. Prior to that, he was in charge of operations, security, and peering for Renesys, a provider of Internet intelligence services; and before that he was CTO of Oso Grande, a New Mexico ISP. He has a background in systems engineering and networking.

Show Notes

Having recently presented on how ML breaks in production, by examining more than a decade of outage postmortems at Google, Todd joins the show to chat about why many ways that ML systems break in production have nothing to do with ML, what’s different about engineering reliable systems for ML, vs traditional software (and the many ways that they are similar), what he looks for when hiring ML SREs, and more. Throughout the episode, Todd shares insight and advice on topics such as “do you need to be a ML expert to succeed as an ML SRE?”, why it’s so difficult to build generalized platforms for ML workflows, and who’s on the hook when ML models don’t perform well in production.

Music Credits

Vlad Gluschenko — Forest
License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

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