SREday 2023

14 - 15 Sep London, UK
Site Reliability Engineering Conference

Keynote: Fake It 'Til You Make It: Get the Most out of Incident Simulations

Ashley Sawatsky

The worst time to discover your processes are totally broken? During a live incident. Avoid incident management flops by running regular simulations that actually reflect a realistic incident environment. I'll teach you how.

Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy...sound like your first on call shift? One of the biggest challenges in incident response work, especially for newer SREs, is the lack of safe spaces to fail. Incident simulations can be an effective way to take the terror out of that first on-call shift, but they take careful planning. In this talk, I’ll explore different types of simulations (from tabletops to full-on realistic mock incidents), how and when to utilize them, and how to make sure you get the most out of them.

Ashley Sawatsky is an expert in incident management and communication, with a focus on the SaaS world. In her 6+ years of experience building and scaling Shopify's incident response program, she developed the ability to fluently translate the technical aspects of SRE incident response to Legal, PR, Customer Support, and Executive stakeholders. Now, she works at Rootly as Senior Developer Relations Advocate, where she engages with the SRE and incident response communities, and consults with customers from the world's largest tech companies—like Canva, Figma, NVIDIA, and more—on their incident response strategies.

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