Build resilient systems at scale
May 27–29, 2015 • Santa Clara, CA

organizational optimization conference sessions

11:50am–12:30pm Thursday, 05/28/2015
Ross Clanton (Target), Heather Mickman (Target)
Slides:   external link
Target has been focused on (re)building an engineering culture for over a year. One of the most important components has been a focus on a DevOps transformation. This talk will reflect on our learnings over the past year, and approaches we are experimenting with moving forward. We will share tips and insights on driving this kind of change in a large traditional IT organization.
2:15pm–2:35pm Wednesday, 05/27/2015
Jon Correll (Conversion Voodoo / VoodooAlerts / Maxly)
Slides:   1-PPTX 
CRO (Conversion rate optimization) is no longer just a front end UI buzzword, yet most companies are still failing to bridge the gap between tech and marketing teams to provide the user with the best end-to-end experience. Learn how to break down the walls between your teams and bring a culture of optimization to your entire business.
11:50am–12:30pm Thursday, 05/28/2015
Charity Majors (Honeycomb)
How to hire and grow an amazing Ops team and build a great DevOps culture from the ground up. Covers interviewing techniques, cultural fit, first hires for a new team, and how to build a culture people love.
3:50pm–4:10pm Wednesday, 05/27/2015
Alastair Simpson (Atlassian)
Slides:   1-BIN    external link
Combine growth hacking, user research, data analytics, and A/B testing at scale to quickly optimize customer and prospect experiences. No need to wait for development teams or interrupt their schedules. Empowered by data, growth teams can make early assumptions about customer needs, build minimum viable experiences, and then run usability and growth experiments to validate those assumptions.
11:50am–12:30pm Friday, 05/29/2015
Ralph Bodenner (New Relic)
Slides:   external link
For an engineering team to sustain its culture as it grows, even more important than what processes it adopts is how those processes undergo change. At New Relic, we have a culture of openness that we intend to keep, so we've been using the same process to change our culture that we use to change our code: GitHub Pull Requests. Learn why and how we opened up our Engineering Handbook.
1:35pm–1:55pm Wednesday, 05/27/2015
Sheldon Monteiro (SapientNitro)
Slides:   1-PDF 
Marketing and IT need each other, and in successful organizations, a hybrid technologist is “minding the gap.” We will decode the DNA of the marketing technologist - an activist engineer - part creative, part marketer, part ad-woman, solid technologist, with visionary leadership and influence skills, who drives change at the intersection of story and technology.
5:05pm–5:45pm Friday, 05/29/2015
Dave Cliffe (PagerDuty), Arup Chakrabarti (PagerDuty)
We will present a framework for understanding operational incident response, along with practical ways to understand impact, manage responsiveness (and burnout), coordinate incident command, and leverage the right level of collaboration. We hope that this will make a meaningful impact on how you manage incidents, from the duckiest to the fowl-est of them.
2:40pm–3:20pm Thursday, 05/28/2015
Ian Malpass (Etsy)
Slides:   1-PDF 
Failure is inevitable. Wait! Come back! It's OK. If things are going to go wrong, what do you do? I'll tell you about Etsy's approach to failure: how it influences our tools and our philosophy, and how we try to minimise the cost of failure.
4:30pm–4:50pm Wednesday, 05/27/2015
Jeff Sussna (Ingineering.IT)
Slides:   1-PDF 
The complex, co-creative nature of digital services means we can’t fully know how our designs will work until we deploy them. Operations needs to be an input to design as well as an output. This talk will present continuous design as an extension of DevOps, and describe concrete ways to create a circular design-operations loop that unifies marketing, design, development, operations, and support.
2:40pm–3:20pm Friday, 05/29/2015
Buddy Brewer (SOASTA)
In order to get what we want as performance experts, sometimes we have to see things from someone else's perspective. In this talk we will explore ways to use performance data to motivate diverse teams to care about speed.
11:20am–11:40am Wednesday, 05/27/2015
Norm Warren (Ancestry Inc), Jeremy Johnson (
Slides:   1-PDF 
Influencing a developer-centric company to care more about site performance is not a small task. We will walk through successful approaches to performance monitoring at These include collecting internal SLA statistics and implementing a grading system that focuses on the top 30 pages while correlating with business data.
4:10pm–4:50pm Thursday, 05/28/2015
Mandi Walls (Chef)
Slides:   1-ZIP 
This follow up to my 2012 Velocity talk, “Challenges to Cultural Change,” will examine a number of common themes presenting in technology organizations of varying size. These pathologies exhibit strengths and weaknesses around tasks, behaviors, and treatment of personnel that affect the day-to-day running, and long-term success, of IT projects.
9:45am–10:05am Wednesday, 05/27/2015
J. Paul Reed (Release Engineering Approaches)
The DevOps explosion has viscerally illustrated the need to move toward leaner, more nimble, real-time business operations. But change doesn't happen overnight and will fail without support from the entire organization.
11:50am–12:30pm Friday, 05/29/2015
John Feminella (Pivotal)
Slides:   1-PDF 
Knowing how to measure your technology and business operations is crucial for optimizing them, but it's nowhere near as important as knowing what metrics to look at in the first place. In this talk, we'll discuss how to pick metrics and associated visualizations that maximize your chances of making the right call for your business.
9:35am–9:55am Thursday, 05/28/2015
Laura Bell (SafeStack)
Slides:   1-PPTX 
Sometimes the best way to build a resilient application is to repeatedly break it. What if building secure applications needs the same sort of destructive play? This talk explains why, to protect organizations and applications from modern security threats, we don’t just need to defend our applications--we need to destroy them first.
4:10pm–4:50pm Friday, 05/29/2015
Aaron Suggs (Kickstarter)
Slides:   1-PDF 
Discover the benefits of training your entire organization to contribute code. Kickstarter teaches GitHub for Poets, a one-hour class that empowers all staff to make improvements to our site, and fosters a culture of transparency and inclusivity. Learn about how we’ve made developing with GitHub fun and safe for everyone, and the surprising benefits of having more contributors to our code.
2:40pm–3:20pm Friday, 05/29/2015
Baron Schwartz (VividCortex)
Slides:   1-PDF 
This is a story of how systems taught me about people, and people taught me about systems. Once you see it, you can't unsee it: systems and teams both do work, and have the same types of bottlenecks. The real breakthrough is figuring out what to do about it, and that's where systems and people are very different. I'll share in detail.
3:30pm–5:00pm Wednesday, 05/27/2015
Sam Newman (Independent)
Slides:   external link
Microservices seem to be all the rage nowadays, but I wanted to understand what makes them tick. This talk, based on my own practical experience and research for the _Building Microservices_ book, presents the core principles and practices that are key to doing microservices well.
1:45pm–2:25pm Thursday, 05/28/2015
Mark Maun (mobileforming)
Slides:   external link
Mark will talk about his journey at Ticketmaster, where he rolled out tools and automation, and not only made the Ticketmaster software factory more efficient but also invoked cultural change in the workplace. Rather than mandate cultural change by executive fiat, we did it organically from the ground up. Tools and technology, not executive memos, were the origin of this transformation.
5:05pm–5:45pm Thursday, 05/28/2015
Robert Treat (OmniTI)
If you think there is a gap between Dev and Ops, Design must seem like it comes from another planet. But many of the core ideas behind design work are directly applicable to the world of Ops, especially given that running successful websites is no longer (just) about keeping servers up, but about designing human and technical systems that help enable people to achieve continuous operations.
4:10pm–4:50pm Thursday, 05/28/2015
Tim Sheiner (Jut)
Slides:   1-PDF 
Get a UX professional's view of the operations world... it's like a look in the mirror, except you'll walk away with tangible ways to rethink how you communicate about your challenges, your work, and the opportunities for Ops within your business.
4:10pm–4:30pm Wednesday, 05/27/2015
Rob Woolley (Solium)
Slides:   external link
How can a small and highly technical team help empower a business? Especially when that business is making the move to operate globally and grow its presence in new markets? By building trust between all teams as we pragmatically embrace DevOps principles.