Charity Majors @mipsytipsy CTO @honeycombio, ex-Parse, Facebook, Linden Lab; cowrote Database Reliability Engineering; loves whiskey, rainbows. I test in production and so do you. 🌈🖤 Oct. 25, 2019 1 min read

Upon re-reading my piece, the thing I wish I had said is, it's not about using error budgets to justify not doing reliability work until something breaks and you must react.

It's about shifting to a mode where truly reactive work approaches zero.

You don't do this by "preventing" failures. Lord no. You do it by making failure boring, ordinary, occasionally funny, always your friend and sworn companion.

You auto remediate, stabilize, and make a note for a human to pick it up after their morning coffee.

I just read this uhhhhmayzing book called "Gut" by Dr Giulia Enders. (With illustrations by her sister. They are SO CUTE. The section on bowels and excretory systems was Life. Changing. Read it!!! -- and not the kindle version!)

ANYWAY.

The most fascinating part of the whole great book was the last section, on the microbiome. The science is advancing so fast, it's been revised twice in 4 years.

So we as a species have co-evolved with thousands of these little bacteria critters. We cannot live without them.

They digest our food, synthesize vitamins and nutrients, and subject every inch of our bodies to stress -- the kind of stress that fortifies our immune system and makes us robust and strong, resilient to everything from viruses to mold.

There's this tragic story she briefly mentions. A group of pregnant South American women decided to give birth in Antarctica so their babies could lay claim to any future oil wealth.

But it's too cold for bacteria to survive there. The babies died as soon as they got home.

Healthy systems are systems that are subject to stress and constant low level failure.

And yes I suppose in this analogy I am comparing users to bacteria. I've forgotten where I was going with this. Good night 🥰


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