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Presentation: Whispers in the Chaos: Monitoring Weak Signals

Track: Practices of DevOps & Lean Thinking

Location: Ballroom BC

Duration: 1:40pm - 2:30pm

Day of week: Monday

Level: Intermediate

Persona: Chaos/Resiliency/SRE, Developer, DevOps Engineer, Technical Engineering Manager

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Abstract

The complexity of the socio-technical systems we engineer, operate, and exist within is staggering. Due to our daily interactions with and familiarity with our systems, the true gravity of this complexity can become easy to ignore. (And... let's face it, as a good coping strategy, too!) When those systems falter or fail, we often find in the postmortems and retrospectives afterward that there were "weak signals" that portended doom, but we didn't know they were there or how to sense them. 

In this talk, we'll look at what the safety sciences have to say about humans operating complex socio-technical systems, including what aircraft carriers have to do with Internet infrastructure operations, how resilience engineering can help us, and the role heuristics play in incident response. All of these provide insight into ways we can improve one the most advanced—and most effective—monitoring tools we have available to keep those systems running: ourselves.

Speaker: J. Paul Reed

Build/Release Engineering, DevOps, and Human Factors Consultant

J. Paul Reed has over fifteen years experience in the trenches as a build/release engineer, working with such companies as VMware, Mozilla, Postbox, Symantec, and Salesforce. 

In 2012, he founded Release Engineering Approaches, a consultancy incorporating a host of tools and techniques to help organizations "Simply Ship. Every time." He's worked across a number of industries, from financial services to cloud-based infrastructure to health care, with teams ranging from 2 to 2,500 on everything from tooling, operational analysis and improvement, cultural transformation, and business value optimization. 

He speaks internationally on release engineering, DevOps, operational complexity, and human factors and is currently a Masters of Science candidate in Human Factors & Systems Safety at Lund University.

Find J. Paul Reed at

Tracks

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