Matt’s upcoming schedule

Matt Stratton is presenting at these upcoming events.

Hartford, CT, USA

DevOpsDays Hartford 2019

Fight, Flight, or Freeze — Releasing Organizational Trauma

When humans are faced with a traumatic experience, our brains kick in with survival mechanisms. These mechanisms are the familiar fight or flight response, but can also include the freeze response - which occurs when we are terrified or feel that there is no chance of escape.

In this talk I will explain the background of fight, flight, and freeze, and how it applies to organizations. Based on my own experiences with post-traumatic stress (PTS), I will give examples and suggestions on how to identify your own organizational trauma and how to help heal it.

Sufferers of post-traumatic stress continue to feel these fight, flight, and freeze responses long after the trauma has passed, because our brains are unable to differentiate between the memory of trauma and an actually occurring event. When activated or triggered, the brain reverts to these behaviors, which are then expressed in the person’s body (through posture, disassociation, muscle tension, etc).

The same can occur to organizations - once an organization has experienced a trauma (a large outage, say) the “memory” of that trauma leads to a deregulated state whenever activated (by symptoms of similar indicators, such as system alerts, customer issues, and more). The organization will insist on revisiting the same fight, flight, or freeze response as the embedded trauma has caused, which, like a triggered post-traumatic stress sufferer, is a false equivalency.

One of the treatments for post-traumatic stress is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), in which the patient’s difficult memories are offset with a positive association that is reinforced through external stimuli. The same can be done for organizations - removing the inaccurate traumatic associations of previous outages and organizational pain through game days, and other techniques, we can reduce the “scar tissue” of our organization and move forward in a balanced manner.

02 October 2019

Sydney NSW, Australia

DevOpsDays Sydney 2019

Fight, Flight, or Freeze — Releasing Organizational Trauma

When humans are faced with a traumatic experience, our brains kick in with survival mechanisms. These mechanisms are the familiar fight or flight response, but can also include the freeze response - which occurs when we are terrified or feel that there is no chance of escape.

In this talk I will explain the background of fight, flight, and freeze, and how it applies to organizations. Based on my own experiences with post-traumatic stress (PTS), I will give examples and suggestions on how to identify your own organizational trauma and how to help heal it.

Sufferers of post-traumatic stress continue to feel these fight, flight, and freeze responses long after the trauma has passed, because our brains are unable to differentiate between the memory of trauma and an actually occurring event. When activated or triggered, the brain reverts to these behaviors, which are then expressed in the person’s body (through posture, disassociation, muscle tension, etc).

The same can occur to organizations - once an organization has experienced a trauma (a large outage, say) the “memory” of that trauma leads to a deregulated state whenever activated (by symptoms of similar indicators, such as system alerts, customer issues, and more). The organization will insist on revisiting the same fight, flight, or freeze response as the embedded trauma has caused, which, like a triggered post-traumatic stress sufferer, is a false equivalency.

One of the treatments for post-traumatic stress is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), in which the patient’s difficult memories are offset with a positive association that is reinforced through external stimuli. The same can be done for organizations - removing the inaccurate traumatic associations of previous outages and organizational pain through game days, and other techniques, we can reduce the “scar tissue” of our organization and move forward in a balanced manner.

10 October 2019

Raleigh, NC, USA

All Things Open 2019

Avengers Assemble - The Thanos Incident

Over the course of the Avengers storyline, everything has been leading up to the ultimate outage—when Thanos snapped his fingers, eliminating half of all life in the universe.

Come along with me on a journey to perform a retrospective on this greatest of all incidents in the Marvel universe. What were the contributing factors? How could the Avengers have followed better incident response procedures? And can this be reviewed in a truly blameless fashion?

In this talk, I will revisit the storyline across the Marvel Cinematic Universe that led up to a critical event: the “Snap,” when Thanos removes half of all life in the universe at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, as well as the resolution displayed in Avengers: Endgame. We will explore the activities of the incident response teams (the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and more), to discover what they did well, what they could have done better, and why S.H.I.E.L.D. needs to invest in better Incident Response training.

The audience will learn how to engage in productive Incident Response practices, conduct blameless postmortems, and even why a properly used pager (ala Captain Marvel) can be a key element in successfully navigating even the most dire of universal crises.

13 October 2019

Ghent, Belgium

DevOpsDays Ghent 2019

Hot Takes, Myths, And Fake News - Why Everyone Is Wrong About DevOps Except For Me

Everyone has an opinion about DevOps. The problem is, most people’s opinions are wrong. In this Ignite, I’ll spin through some of the more popular misconceptions about DevOps of the last year or so, and clarify them as only I know how.

Will Kubernetes save your soul? Are enterprises too stodgy for DevOps? Is immutable infrastructure even a thing? Can you devops without kitten gif’s? I’ll bust myths and take down thought-leaders with my tongue planted firmly in cheek.

29 October 2019

Orlando, FL, USA

Agile + DevOps East 2019

The Psychology of Chaos Engineering

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.

03 November 2019