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"Failure" as Success: The Mindset, the Methods, and the Landmines

“Failing fast,” “failing forward” and “learning from failure” are all the rage right now.

The DevOps “unicorns” talk endlessly about how they iterate quickly, fail fast, and recover even faster. And yet, many of us are still required to design and implement backup systems, redundancies, and controls into our software and operations. And when those fail, we cringe at the conversation we know is coming.

Is all this talk of reframing “failure” as success within our organizations just that: talk? What does “reframing failure” actually look like? In this talk, we’ll examine the mindset required to make this shift in how we think and talk about failure, as well as practical, effective methods to move the needle on changing how your whole organization deals with failure. We’ll also explore the minefield other organizations have had to navigate through on their journey to making failure OK.

Paul Reed

Consultant, Release Engineering Approaches

J. Paul Reed has over fifteen years experience in the trenches as a build/release engineer, working with such storied companies as VMware, Mozilla, Postbox, Symantec, and Salesforce.

In 2012, he founded Release Engineering Approaches, a consultancy incorporating a host of tools and techniques to help organizations “Simply Ship. Every time.”

He speaks internationally on release engineering, DevOps, operational complexity, and human factors and is currently a Masters of Science candidate in Human Factors & Systems Safety at Lund University.

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