Episode 4: The one with John Allspaw


In this episode, we are joined by John Allspaw the Co-Founder of Adaptive Capacity Labs. John instructs us on how to deal with the bad apples in our organizations, and debates whether or not we can find root cause and human error—whether the person is embodied or not. If you are interested in accident investigations, uncovering truth in complex systems, or using heuristics and correlation to find meaning, then this is the episode for you. Special appearances include Dr. Richard Cook and John’s sister, Sue Allspaw, asking hard-hitting questions that leave John speechless.

John Allspaw

John Allspaw is the Co-Founder of Adaptive Capacity Labs and has worked in software systems engineering and operations for over twenty years in many different environments. John’s publications include the books The Art of Capacity Planning (2009) and Web Operations (2010) as well as the forward to “The DevOps Handbook.” His 2009 Velocity talk with Paul Hammond, “10+ Deploys Per Day: Dev and Ops Cooperation” helped start the DevOps movement.

John served as CTO at Etsy, and holds an MSc in Human Factors and Systems Safety from Lund University.

Keywords and phrases

Resilience Engineering, Lund University, Adaptive Capacity Labs, heuristics, other-than-human persons error, “How to Make Failure Beautiful,” Ashtabula train disaster, witchcraft, finding “the right root cause”, Eric Clapton/”I Shot the Sherriff”, how to win twitter arguments, Hawkeye vs Robin, Flying Graysons, behavioral protocols, Led Zepplin/“Whole Lotta Love” Led Zepplin/“Rock and Roll”

People in this episode: