Failover Conf – A sense of normalcy

Gunnar Grosch with Performing chaos in a serverless world

In early March when the Coronavirus had started to impact us in many different ways, one of which being that tech conferences all over the world was being cancelled or postponed, our good friends over at Gremlin started planning for a virtual conference with the goal of helping everyone maintain a sense of normalcy. This by creating a space where people could still connect, share ideas, and learn from each other. On March 10th Gremlin announced Failover Conf, a conference that could stand for the importance of resilience, and how that extends far beyond our technical systems to how we, as a community, respond.

Impressive list of speakers

When the event day came on April 21st, 8,680 people had signed up to attend a virtual program with thirteen speakers on many different topics related to resilience. J. Paul Reed of Netflix talked about The Halo of Resilience Engineering, Jennifer Petoff of Google talked on Swim Don’t Wink: Why Training Matters to a Site Reliability Engineering Practice, Matt Stratton of Red Hat had a talk named Fight, Flight, or Freeze – Releasing Organizational Trauma, Liz Fong-Jones and Danyel Fisher of Honeycomb talked about Pitfalls in Measuring SLOs along with a bunch of other great speakers and sessions. And then there was me, Gunnar Grosch of Opsio with my talk Performing chaos in a serverless world, where I talked about what chaos engineering is and how we can use it to verify our serverless applications.

Attending virtual conferences you often lack the ability to interact with people in the way that you often do at in-person conferences, but the use of a conference Slack worked really well for session commentary, giving insights on topics, or to connect with new and old friends throughout the event. With 97% of attendees who took the post-conference survey saying that it met or exceeded their expectations, it’s fair to say that Failover Conf was a success.

If you didn’t attend Failover Conf or just want to watch some of the sessions again, they are all available here.

About Gunnar

Gunnar is an evangelist at Opsio and an AWS Serverless Hero. He has previously worked as both a frontend and backend developer, as an operations engineer within cloud infrastructure, and as a technical trainer, in addition to several different management roles.

With a focus on building reliable and robust serverless applications, Gunnar has been one of the driving forces in creating techniques and tools for using chaos engineering in serverless. He regularly and passionately speaks at events on these and other serverless topics around the world.

Gunnar is also deeply involved in the community by organizing AWS User Groups and Serverless Meetups in the Nordics, as well as being an organizer of ServerlessDays conferences and AWS Community Day Nordics.