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AA261 - DevOps lessons on collaborative maintenance

Abstract:

On January 31, 2000, Alaska Airlines Flight 261 plunged into the Pacific ocean in an extreme "nose down" position, killing all 88 crew and passengers on board. The NTSB concluded AA261's horizontal stabiliser trim system's jackscrew was inadequately maintained, causing the pilots to lose all control of the plane.

There are striking parallels with the problems we face daily in IT operations & software development, and the 30 years of give and take between the aircraft manufacturer's engineers, airline maintenance staff, and federal regulators that preceded AA261's simple mechanical failure.

In this talk, Lindsay will look at the complex interplay between the parties in the AA261 crash through a DevOps lens, investigating the collaborative approach to maintenance and operation of the MD-83 aircraft, and relating the complexities back to the complex IT systems we build and maintain.

Speaker:

Lindsay Holmwood ( @auxesis ) is a sysadmin/developer/://twitter.com/auxesistoolsmith/engineering manager, living in the Australian Blue Mountains.

He runs a distributed infrastructure development team at Bulletproof Networks that builds hassle free tools. He was responsible for ensuring 100% uptime for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Movember campaigns, and works on scaling both internal and customer facing systems.

When not mentoring on building awesome monitoring infrastructure, Lindsay organises the monthly Sydney DevOps Meetups, and organised the DevOps Down Under conference in 2010 + 2011.

He also won third place at the 1996 Sydney Royal Easter Show LEGO building competition.

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