Complex Systems

Availability: Nuance As A Service

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Something that has struck me funny recently surrounds the traditional notion of availability of web applications. With respect to its relationship to revenue, to infrastructure and application behavior, and fault protection and tolerance, I’m thinking it may be time to get a broader upgrade adjustment to the industry’s perception on the topic. These nuances in the […]

Culture

On Being A Senior Engineer

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UPDATE: I’ve added a short section on the topic of sponsorship. I think that there’s a lot of institutional knowledge in our field, especially about what makes for a productive engineer. But while there are a good deal of books in the management field about “expert” roles and responsibilities of non-technical individual contributors, I don’t […]

Cognitive Systems Engineering

The Devil’s In The Details

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I’m a firm believer that context is everything, and that it’s needed in every constructive conversation we want to have as engineers. As a nascent (but adorable) engineering field, we discuss (in blogs, books, meetups, conferences, etc.) success and failure in a number of areas, including the ways in which we work. We don’t just […]

Complex Systems

Fault Tolerance and Protection

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In yet another post where I point to a paper written from the perspective of another field of engineering about a topic that I think is inherently mappable to the web engineering world, I’ll at least give a summary. 🙂 Every time someone on-call gets an alert, they should always be thinking along these lines: […]

Complex Systems

Systems Engineering: A great definition.

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Ben Rockwood said something last December about the re-emergence of the Systems Engineer and I agree with him, 100%.   To add to that, I’d like to quote the excellent NASA Systems Engineering handbook’s introduction. The emphasis is mine: Systems engineering is a methodical, disciplined approach for the design, realization, technical management, operations, and retirement […]

Books

Resilience Engineering: Part I

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I’ve been drafting this post for a really long time. Like most posts, it’s largely for me to get some thoughts down. It’s also very related to the topic I’ll be talking about at Velocity later this year. When I gave a keynote talk at the Surge Conference last year, I talked about how our […]