Operations Roundtable

Moderated by: Jesse Robbins
Artur Bergman (Wikia/Fastly), Adam Jacob (Chef), John Allspaw (Etsy), Jesse Robbins (OnBeep, Inc.), Mandi Walls (Opscode)
12:15pm–12:40pm Tuesday, 12/08/2009
Location: Online

Join a panel of your favorite Velocity Web Ops ninjas. Ask them any question you want, and they will answer live.

Photo of Artur Bergman

Artur Bergman


Artur Bergman, hacker and technologist at-large, is the VP of Engineering and Operations at Wikia. He provides the technical backbone necessary for Wikia’s mission to compile and index the world’s knowledge. He is also an enthusiastic apologist for federated identity and a board member of the OpenID Foundation. In past lives, he’s built high volume financial trading systems, re-implemented Perl 5’s threading system, wrote djabberd, managed LiveJournal’s engineering team, and served as operations architect at Six Apart. His current interests extend to encompass semantic search, large scale infrastructure, open source development, federated instant messaging, neurotransmitters, and the future of cyborgs.

Photo of Adam Jacob

Adam Jacob


A twelve year system operations veteran, Adam is the CTO of Opscode, whose mission is to bring “Infrastructure Automation to the Masses”. He is the primary author of Chef.

Photo of John Allspaw

John Allspaw


John Allspaw is Etsy’s chief technology officer (CTO), leading the Product Engineering, Infrastructure, and Operations teams. Previously, he was the SVP of Infrastructure and Operations at Etsy. For over 17 years, he has worked in system operations in the biotech, government, and online media industries.

John began his career running vehicle crash simulations for the U.S. government. In 1997, he made the leap to the web, building the technical infrastructures at Salon, InfoWorld, Friendster and Flickr. John is the author of The Art of Capacity Planning and Web Operations: Keeping the Data on Time, both published by O’Reilly Media. He holds a BS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an MSC from Lund University.

Photo of Jesse Robbins

Jesse Robbins

OnBeep, Inc.

Jesse Robbins is a technology founder & innovator with a unique background as a firefighter and emergency manager. Robbins is widely recognized for transforming the way companies like Facebook & Yahoo manage complex internet systems, and for his work helping governments and humanitarian organizations embrace new technologies.

He is now Founder & CEO of OnBeep, a stealthy wearable hardware startup which will launch later this year.

Prior to OnBeep, Robbins founded Chef which makes software used by companies like Facebook, Google, and Yahoo to automates servers & infrastructure. He also founded the Velocity Conference and is credited as helping to start the DevOps movement.

Before founding Chef, Robbins served as Amazon’s “Master of Disaster” where he was responsible for website availability.

Robbins is a volunteer Firefighter/EMT and Emergency Manager, and led a task force deployed in Operation Hurricane Katrina. His experiences in the fire service profoundly influence his efforts in technology, and he strives to distill his knowledge from these two worlds and apply it in service of both.

Photo of Mandi Walls

Mandi Walls


Mandi Walls has been administering Linux systems of various sizes and scopes for more than 10 years. After a number of years running large web sites for AOL, she recently joined Admeld in New York City.