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Rethinking How the Industry Approaches Chaos Engineering:

In order to determine and envision how to achieve reliability and resilience that drive our businesses forward, organizations must be able to look back at past blunders unobscured by hindsight bias. Resilient organizations don’t take past successes as a reason for confidence. Instead, they use them as an opportunity to dig deeper, find underlying risks, and refine mental models of how our systems succeed and fail.  

There are key components of Chaos Engineering beyond building tools for experimenting in production and running game days. Understanding the concerns, ideas, and mental models of how the system is structured for each individual and learning where your organization excels in technical and human resilience are things that can’t be automated away by code. This talk will address the three different phases of Chaos Engineering and the hidden goals within each phase that might be the greatest benefit of all: using Chaos Engineering as a way to distill expertise.    

The chronically under-invested phases of Chaos Engineering in our industry are the Before and After phases -- and these tend to fall on a single individual to complete, usually a facilitator. This is someone who can act as a third party during the experiment, but prior to that will educate themselves on what the team is going through, their systems, and how it all works. If we only optimize for finding issues before they become incidents, we miss out on getting the most out of the point of Chaos Engineering, which is refining the mental models of our systems and distilling expertise.  

In this talk we focus on the Before and After phases of developing Chaos Engineering experiments (whether they be gamedays or driven by software) and develop important questions to ask with each of these phases. We will also dig into some of the Ironies of Automation present with Chaos Engineering today.


Nora Jones

Senior Developer/ Engineer

Nora is a dedicated and driven technology leader and software engineer with a passion for people and reliable software, as well as the intersection between those two worlds. She truly believes that safety is pivotal with software development nowadays. She co-wrote two O’Reilly books on...

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Whittle, 3rd flr.


Chaos and Resilience: Architecting for Success


Incident ManagementResilient Systems


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