The Psychology of Chaos Engineering

A presentation at DevOpsDays Baltimore 2019 in in Baltimore, MD, USA by Matty Stratton

Chaos Engineering, failure injection, and similar practices have verified benefits to the resilience of systems and infrastructure. But can they provide similar resilience to teams and people? What are the effects and impacts on the humans involved in the systems? This talk will delve into both positive and negative outcomes to all the groups of people involved - including users, engineers, product, and business owners.

Using case studies from organizations where chaos engineering has been implemented, we will explore the changes in attitude that these practices create. This talk will include a brief overview of chaos engineering practices for unfamiliar members of the audience, but the main focus will be on human elements. I will discuss successful implementations, as well as challenges faced in teams where chaos was a “success” from a technical perspective, but contained negative impact for the people involved.

After seeing this talk, attendees will have a better understanding of the human factors involved in chaos engineering, good practices to care for the people and teams working with chaos, and be even more excited about this practice.

Resources

The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.