Building and maintaining complex distributed systems
June 19–20, 2017: Training
June 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

The road to chaos

Nora Jones (Slack)
11:25am–12:05pm Thursday, June 22, 2017
Resilience Engineering
Location: LL21 A/B
Level: Beginner
Average rating: ****.
(4.67, 6 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Engineers, managers, and project managers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience building or working with microservices

What you'll learn

  • Learn a cultural and a technical plan to introduce chaos engineering to your organization
  • Understand how to use a functional programming language to build a failure injection library
  • Explore real-life examples of chaos testing several different functions of a distributed system, from queues to databases to regional failovers and beyond


Netflix defines chaos engineering as “the discipline of experimenting on a distributed system in order to build confidence in the system’s capability to withstand turbulent conditions in production.” Nora Jones covers the specifics of designing a chaos engineering solution and explains how to increment your solution technically and culturally, the socialization and evangelism pieces that tend to get overlooked in the process, and how to get developers excited about purposefully injected failure.

Nora goes through the road to technical and cultural acceptance of Chaos Engineering at startups and large companies like Netflix. Surprisingly enough, social acceptance can prove to be more difficult than actual implementation. There are several different “levels” of chaos you can introduce before unleashing a full-blown chaos solution. Nora discusses each of the levels and leaves you with a game plan of how you can culturally and technically introduce fault injection in your organization.

Photo of Nora Jones

Nora Jones


Nora Jones practices chaos engineering and human factors at Slack and is a student of human factors and systems safety at Lund University. She’s passionate about resilient software, people, and the intersection of those two worlds. She cowrote the book on chaos engineering with her teammates while working at Netflix and keynoted at AWS re:Invent in 2017 to an audience of over 40,000 people about the technical benefits and business case behind implementing chaos engineering.