Building Static Sites With Hugo

Jun 22, 2018

Hugo is a fast, and very powerful, static site generator. I use it for my blog, as well as for fancier things like Markdown-based slideshows. I also use it for practically everything else I can, and every time I have to use a database-backed CMS I cringe and plot to rip it out. In this talk I’ll explain the basics of Hugo and how it works.

How to Monitor Your Database

May 31, 2018

Quick: what does your application really do to the database? Maybe you’re not really sure, but you might have some ideas. You’ll find when you measure and learn the truth, it will surprise you. Mental models of application/database interactions are almost always wrong, for the same reasons you rarely write bug-free code in general.

What is Observability?

May 8, 2018

What is observability? Observability is an attribute of a system, like testability and operability. This talk covers the seven golden signals, the relationship and difference between concepts like observability, monitoring, telemetry, and instrumentation, and how to build highly observable services.

Future Perfect: Thoughts On Open-Source Database Communities

Apr 25, 2018

It’s obvious that macro trends such as cloud computing, microservices, containerization, and serverless applications are fundamentally changing how we build and deploy data-intensive applications. How are these forces changing open source database communities, and how should we respond to create the best future together?

Engineering The Application/Database Boundary

Apr 24, 2018

The interaction between applications and the database is one of the most intricate and important in the systems we build. This boundary region is special and complex for a number of reasons. It’s the surface that separates stateful from stateless, off-the-shelf from custom, and battle-tested atoms from fast-changing molecules.

How To Index Your Database

Apr 20, 2018

Do you know what database indexes are and how they work? Do they seem hard to understand? They don’t have to be. The basic principles you need to know are simple and easy to remember. And developers need to know the basics of indexing: your DBAs can’t save you, because discovering you need an index after you deploy a feature is often too little, too late.

Approaching the Unacceptable Workload Boundary

Mar 29, 2018

We’ve all stared in frustration at a system that degraded into nonresponsiveness, to the point that you couldn’t even kill-dash-nine whatever was responsible for the problem. A key fact we all recognize, but may not recognize as significant, is that this isn’t a sharp boundary. There’s a gradient of deteriorating performance where the system becomes less predictable and stable.

Observability in Business

Mar 28, 2018

What gets measured gets managed, and that’s as true in the business as it is in the product. In fact, arguably we’ve been a lot more sophisticated on the business side than in our systems, for decades.

Why Nobody Cares About Your Anomaly Detection

Mar 7, 2018

Anomaly detection is white hot in the monitoring industry, but many don’t really understand or care about it, while others repeat the same pattern many times. VividCortex has built several features based on anomaly detection into its product, but customers have told the company that only some of them are valuable. The same is true of other companies in the space. It seems like everyone has anomaly detection, but customers generally aren’t finding it useful.

Observability Isn't Monitoring

Mar 7, 2018

What is observability? It’s not monitoring, that’s what it is. But seriously, let’s talk about the seven golden signals, the relationship and difference between concepts like observability, monitoring, telemetry, and instrumentation, and how to build highly observable services.

Why Nobody Cares About Your Anomaly Detection

Nov 14, 2017

Static thresholds on metrics have been falling out of fashion for a while, and for good reason. Modern tooling lets you analyze and monitor a lot more data points than you used to be able to, resulting in lots more noise. The hope is that anomaly detection answers some of this, by replacing static thresholds (anomalies) with dynamic ones. But it doesn’t work as well as most people think it will.

Scalability Is Quantifiable: The Universal Scalability Law

Nov 1, 2017

Do you know what scalability really is? It’s a mathematical function that’s simple, precise, and useful. REALLY useful. It describes the relationship between system performance and load. In this talk you’ll learn the function (the Universal Scalability Law), how it describes and predicts system behavior you see every day, and how to use it in practice.