Build Systems that Drive Business
30–31 Oct 2018: Training
31 Oct–2 Nov 2018: Tutorials & Conference
London, UK

The death of data: Retention, rot, and risk

Heidi Waterhouse (LaunchDarkly)
16:3517:15 Thursday, 1 November 2018
Distributed Data
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Secondary topics:  Resilient, Performant & Secure Distributed Systems
Average rating: ****.
(4.67, 3 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Understand why keeping deprecated codebases around is a problem


Hoarding is only really painful when we run out of space. In a world with very cheap data storage, it never occurs to us that we should be getting rid of data instead of just storing it in giant silos. No one tells developers and project managers to throw things away. We assume that because it’s cheap to keep it around, the emotional comfort is worth any trade-offs. But we’re not thinking about how vulnerable we make ourselves.

Heidi Waterhouse problematizes keeping deprecated codebases around. This talk is not about data in the abstract; it’s about ergot poisoning and hoarding and KonMari and bit rot—about when and why to kill your precious data. You’ll learn why having an automated and tested way of getting rid of things that we don’t need anymore may be the best way forward.

In a political climate of rising repression, attackers in the future will likely be motivated by both ideology and money. Educating the public is too big a task, but maybe we can educate the data minders.

Photo of Heidi Waterhouse

Heidi Waterhouse


Heidi Waterhouse is a developer advocate with LaunchDarkly. She delights in working at the intersection of usability, risk reduction, and cutting-edge technology. One of her favorite hobbies is talking to developers about things they already knew but had never thought of that way before. She sews all her conference dresses so that she’s sure there is a pocket for the mic.