Chaos Engineering — Part 1

The art of breaking things purposefully

Adrian Hornsby
The Cloud Architect
15 min readJul 1, 2019

--

I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Adrian Cockcroft for his review, input and for helping me make this blog post better. Adrian’s work on chaos engineering has always been an inspiration for me and today I feel privileged and honored to be able to work with him.

Firefighters— these highly trained specialists risk their lives every day fighting fires. Did you know that before becoming an active-duty firefighter, one needs to spend approximately 600 hours in training? And that’s just the beginning. After that, some firefighters — according to reports — spend over 80% of their active-duty time in training.

Why?

When a firefighter goes under live-fire conditions, she/he needs to have an intuition for the fire they are fighting against. To acquire that lifesaving intuition, she/he needs to train hour after hour, after hour. Like the old adage says, practice makes perfect.

Image source

“They seem to get inside the head of the fire, sort of like a Dr. Phil for a fire” — Fighting Wildfires With Computers and Intuition

Once upon a time in Seattle

In the early 2000s, Jesse Robbins, whose official title was Master of Disaster at Amazon, created and led a program called GameDay, a program inspired by his experience training as a firefighter. GameDay was designed to test, train and prepare Amazon systems, software, and people to respond to a disaster.

Just as firefighters train to build an intuition to fight live fires, Jesse’s goal was to help his team build an intuition against live, large-scale catastrophic failures.

--

--

Adrian Hornsby
The Cloud Architect

Principal System Dev Engineer @ AWS ☁️ I break stuff .. mostly. Opinions here are my own.