Awesome Conferences

NYC: Day-long Awesome Postmortems workshop!

Yulia Sheynkman and Dave Zwieback are repeating their "Awesome Postmortems" workshop on July 10.

It's a great way to get the team--and not just ops--offsite to experience a healthier way of dealing and learning from failure.

If you are in the NYC-area, this is a great opportunity to learn how to make postmortems an integrated part of how to improve reliability and prevent future outages.

When we wrote our "how to do postmortems" section of the upcoming The Practice of Cloud System Administration, we asked Dave for advice because we respect his expertise. Now you can get a full day of training directly from Yulia and Dave!

(full description below the fold)

Awesome Postmortems

July 10th, 2014 New York, New York
A full-day, practical, experiential workshop on making postmortems awesome.

Failure is inevitable. A postmortem, conducted in an open, blameless way, is the best way to learn from outages (and other failures and near-misses). Postmortems enable us to identify and address areas of fragility within systems and organizations. However, when the "root cause" is determined to be "human error" (or worse, particular humans), postmortems will make systems and teams more fragile, obscuring the real root cause and conditions of outages.

In this highly-rated, practical, hands-on workshop, we'll cover the theory and practice of conducting and participating in awesome postmortems, including:

  • Setting the necessary context, and making postmortems blameless
  • Collecting the necessary data before the postmortem
  • Communicating effectively during charged, high-stakes postmortems
  • Using empathy and humor
  • Determining the real root cause (yes, there is such a thing!) and conditions of outages
  • Dealing with "human error"
  • Recognizing and mitigating the effects of cognitive biases during postmortems
  • Best practices for writing up the results of the postmortem (for internal and external audiences)
  • Using the power of prospective hindsight to identify future risks and reduce the possibility of failure

Workshop Facilitators:

Yulia Sheynkman has held leadership positions in large financial services and professional services organizations for 15 years. Yulia brings a unique blend of corporate strategy expertise, cognitive science research and coaching skills. Prior to her corporate career, Yulia was a researcher at Princeton University, working in the laboratory of Anne Treisman and Daniel Kahneman (winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences) on issues of human memory and perception. Yulia's cognitive science research on early conceptual development received an Honorable Mention from the National Science Foundation.

Dave Zwieback has been managing large-scale mission-critical infrastructure and teams for 18 years. He is VP, Engineering at Next Big Sound, and CTO of Lotus Outreach. He was previously the head of infrastructure at Knewton, managed UNIX Engineering at D.E. Shaw & Co. and enterprise monitoring tools at Morgan Stanley. He also ran an infrastructure architecture consultancy for 7 years. Dave is the author of The The Human Side of Postmortems and several other books. Follow Dave @mindweather.

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