SRE, Security, and Presidential Campaigns

Hillary for America was the organization created for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. By election day, the campaign employed 82 software developers. A team of four SREs and two Security Engineers helped protect and scale close to a hundred backend services against a constant stream of DDoS, looming deadlines, and constantly shifting priorities.

This team helped build an environment for rapidly launching new projects, raising billions of dollars from donors, and withstanding spiky and semi-unpredictable traffic. We will walk through how we did this, the unusual schedule of a presidential campaign and how that affects a growing tech team.

Panelists will dive into the technical details of our infrastructure, including our love/hate relationship with AWS, our use of open source technology like Packer, Ansible, and Consul, and our flat out love of Varnish. We will also discuss what makes a presidential campaign a unique technical environment, such as the pace of development, the work hours, and adversaries both foreign and domestic.



Amy Hailes


Amy is a Site Reliability Engineer at The New York Times. Prior to the campaign, she was a performance engineer at Akamai for several years. At HFA, she was an SRE on the SRE/Ops team. The Ops team was responsible for CDN management and assisting in launching and maintaining the microservice infrastructure on AWS.


Michael Fisher


Will McCutcheon


Timothy Ball


Dylan Ayrey