Training: June 20–21, 2016
Tutorials: June 21, 2016
Keynotes & Sessions: June 22–23, 2016
Santa Clara, CA

A young lady's illustrated primer to technical decision making

Charity Majors (Honeycomb)
9:40am–10:00am Thursday, 06/23/2016
DevOps, Infrastructure reimagined, Organizational optimization
Location: Mission City Ballroom Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.85, 13 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

This session will be most useful for people who have to make lots of decisions under a tight time frame (staff/senior engineers, engineering managers, architects, or anyone bootstrapping a new startup) as well as more junior engineers who are wondering where senior engineers get their instincts and intuitions.


Software is eating the world and probably your brain.

Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen an explosion of complexity in areas like polyglot storage, composable infrastructure, containerization and microservices, and coupling platforms (*aaS). Even five years ago, there were a set of fairly widely accepted best practices (virtualization, config management, RESTful services, and DBMS), but now every element of your stack is a never-ending rabbit hole of possibilities and questions.

Solid technical judgment is more important than ever. You can’t anticipate every problem, but you can identify and head off many of them in advance.

Charity Majors explores how to evaluate major technology choices (hint: it’s not really about the technology), covering best practices for reusing components and how to think about amortizing operational cost over the lifetime of the technology. Charity then explains when you should use boring technology (h/t @mcfunley)—and what it means for software to be "boring"—and discusses the massively greater tolerance for risk that early startups have and where exactly they should spend those risk tokens for maximum competitive impact, as well as how to culturally reinforce these values across teams and communities.

Photo of Charity Majors

Charity Majors


Charity Majors is the cofounder and CTO of Honeycomb, a new startup focused on mining machine data. Previously, Charity ran infrastructure at Parse and was an engineering manager at Facebook. She also worked with the RocksDB team to build and deploy the world’s first Mongo + Rocks in production. Charity likes single malt scotch.