In the Center of the Cyclone: Finding Sources of Resilience

John Allspaw

Adaptive Capacity Labs


Abstract Sustaining the potential to adapt to unforeseen situations (resilience) is a necessary element in complex systems. One could say that all successful endeavors require this. But resilience is (in many ways) both invisible and also difficult to locate in concrete and grounded ways. Understanding complex systems cannot rely on simple approaches, by definition.

“Monitoring,” “observability,” “culture,” “management,” “organizational design”” ... none of these terms, concepts, or approaches can singularly help us in this area. We’ll walk through empirically-supported approaches that do.

Bio John Allspaw has worked in software systems engineering and operations for over twenty years in many different environments: biotech, government, online media, social networking, and e-commerce. John’s publications include the books The Art of Capacity Planning and Web Operations as well as the foreword to “The DevOps Handbook.”

His 2009 Velocity talk with Paul Hammond, 10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation, helped start the DevOps movement. John served as SVP of Infrastructure and Operations and then CTO at Etsy, and holds an MSc in Human Factors and Systems Safety from Lund University.

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