Continuously Deploying Culture

Operations and Culture
Location: Hilton 1-6 Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.83, 6 ratings)

There was a time not long ago when Etsy was laden with barriers, silos, broken communication, and noncooperation. Fast forward to today, and Etsy has a culture completely unlike what it used to, but it has only been made possible through continuous improvement, retooling, and collaboration by everyone from top to bottom. The idea of “DevOps” is a good starting point, but in this presentation we’ll talk about how we’ve both succeeded at and struggled with fostering our unique breed of DevOps that permeates beyond engineering to the company at large. We will also touch upon the challenges we will continue to face as Etsy grows and develops.

This talk will focus on the various stages of Etsy’s cultural development starting from the early days in which downtime was acceptable and expected, a lack of metrics-driven monitoring kept everyone in the dark, and in which there was a strong segregation of duties, access, and knowledge between development and operations. We will speak about how Etsy overcame these shortcomings to build a strong engineering culture based on trust, sharing of responsibilities, blamelessness, and visibility into all parts of the application and infrastructure. We will also tell of how we are dealing with the fast pace of cultural change, how we are spreading the engineering culture to non-technical departments, and how we manage to keep everything running smoothly through training and oversight.

Photo of Mike Rembetsy

Mike Rembetsy


Michael has worked in system operations for over ten years in the web, healthcare, online media and financial. He started out in the help desk area but moved to operations shortly after starting and has been building and running data center operations ever since. In previous Job he worked for NBC Universal, iVillage, and McDonalds. Currently, Michael the Operations Engineering Director for Etsy..

Patrick McDonnell


Patrick is a Senior Web Operations Engineer at Etsy. In the past Patrick has worked in operations at and has spoken most recently at chefconf.


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