Leaving the Nest: Guidelines, guardrails, and human error

A presentation at Failover Conf 2: Fail Smarter by Laura Santamaria

When we talk about reliable systems, we talk a lot about human error. Human error in an incident or a bug report is often treated with a bit of a facepalm reaction. The term masks a lot of scenarios from accidents to exhaustion to everything in between. However, human error helps us understand where our processes failed and how we can prevent the same error from happening again. In short, we need to think in terms of a framework of guidelines and guardrails. In this short talk, let’s discuss how guidelines like runbooks and guardrails like automation can help us address the fact that everyone will, at some point, make mistakes.