We’re all aware that failures happen in every system, and that being prepared to respond to them is paramount. But bringing resilience to your site and your organization also means developing your anticipation muscles; to explicitly work out what fears you may have about your system’s limits and failure modes, and understand what you’ll do when those unfortunate events happen.
This creative thinking about failure is what you use to guide your architecture, your development, your processes, your hiring, and hopefully: your business.
Putting in place contingency plans for when things might go wrong means first having an engineer’s imagination for those possible failures and surprising outcomes.
I’m going to talk about walking the fine line between immobilizing paranoia and a healthy but constant sense of unease in order to build your anticipation muscles.
John has worked in systems operations for over fourteen years in biotech, government and online media. He started out tuning parallel clusters running vehicle crash simulations for the U.S. government, and then moved on to the Internet in 1997. He built the backing infrastructures at Salon, InfoWorld, Friendster, and Flickr. He is now VP of Tech Operations at Etsy, and is the author of The Art of Capacity Planning published by O’Reilly.
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