Amplify software resilience and learn from failures by asking how, not why has been saved
Amplify software resilience and learn from failures by asking how, not why
Part of the Architecting the Cloud podcast series
When systems fail, the blame game often begins, and, surprisingly, it begins with a simple question: "Why?" Instead, to build more resilient systems, as well as more trust among team members, ask what happened and how.
Build resilience: When systems fail, don't ask why–ask what happened, and how
Critical failures happen to software systems; it’s just a fact. Learning from those failures and focusing on building resilience is more important than ferreting out who’s to blame. In this episode of the podcast, Mike Kavis and guest, Netflix’s Jessica DeVita, talk about resilience engineering and why asking "why" something happened is not the best way to deal with system failures. Instead, Jessica, through introducing the concepts of human factors thinking and local rationality, recommends that software teams ask what happened and how, so that blame is not a part of the equation and teams can build a culture of trust that can help build more resilient systems. She also gives salient advice on how companies can start their own resilience engineering journey starting with unlearning that human error is a cause.
Disclaimer: As referenced in this podcast, “Amazon” refers to AWS (Amazon Web Services) and “Google” refers to GCP (Google Cloud Platform).
Fundamentally, if you move away from the why question, you have a better shot at learning more from this incident.
Jessica DeVita is a senior applied resilience engineer at Netflix where she investigates incidents and outages in production software. She has 20 years of experience in IT operations across industries such as medical device, entertainment, and large scale cloud computing.
Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) offers many benefits, but it has to be specific to the organization implementing it to harness its full value.
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