Advancing a culture of reliability at the pace of Azure

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Microsoft

“Customers value cloud services because they are agile and adaptable, scaling and transforming to meet the changing needs of business. Since the velocity of change can work against the tenets of reliability, our Azure engineering teams have evolved their culture, processes, and frameworks to balance the pace of innovation with assurance of performance and quality. Today, I asked Principal Program Manager Anne Hamilton to explore the challenges of developing a culture of reliability through Azure engineering onboarding skills training, as part of our Advancing Reliability blog series.” —Mark Russinovich, CTO, Azure


Like engineering reliability, Azure culture must balance the speed of the new with the stability of the known in the face of tremendous growth and unknowns. New hires bring new ideas and perspectives while veterans bring experience and institutional knowledge. Both contribute to the team culture, which defines how quality and innovation are valued and implemented.

 

To evolve the best quality outcomes, the Azure engineering team culture must be a place where ideas are openly shared, rigorously challenged, and effectively implemented. It’s a space where ideation and creativity thrive.

 

Skills, processes, and frameworks can be taught. But can culture be taught? How do you onboard new hires into a culture that values reliability?

 

Like so much about Azure, onboarding individuals and developing team culture at the speed of Azure has been fraught with challenges, and rich in learnings.

 

Onboarding engineers—Azure Engineering Boot Camp

 

The astounding growth rate of cloud computing has created an unprecedented demand for engineering roles worldwide. Within the Cloud + AI team, this results in hundreds of new hires joining Azure engineering teams each week. Hundreds of people to train on crucial skills, internal tools, and best practices. And hundreds of people to experience their first exposure to culture. How do you preserve institutional knowledge and disseminate culture that values reliability when waves of new people are onboarding constantly?

 

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