Velocity San Jose 2018 – Architecting a Post Mortem (Tutorial)

San Jose, California (June 12, 2018)

Abstract, Slides


Engineers are frequently tasked with being front and center in intense, highly demanding situations that require clear lines of communication. Our systems fail not because of a lack of attention or laziness but due to cognitive dissonance between what we believe about our environments and the objective interactions both internal and external to them.

It’s time to revisit your established beliefs surrounding failure scenarios, with an emphasis not on the “who” in decision making but instead on the “why” behind those decisions. With attention to growth mindset, you can encourage your teams to reject shallow explanations of human error for said failures and focus on how to gain greater understanding of these complexities and push the boundaries on what you believe to be static, unchanging context outside your sphere of influence.

Will Gallego walks you through the structure of post mortems used at large tech companies with real-world examples of failure scenarios and debunks myths regularly attributed to failures. You’ll learn how to incorporate open dialogue within and between teams to bridge these gaps in understanding.