STAREAST 2022 Keynote : Detective Hat: Investigating Production Bugs


Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 4:15pm to 5:15pm

Detective Hat: Investigating Production Bugs

It was a dark and stormy night, and our production system was out cold. It was our job to find out what had gone wrong and set it right. But how? Our developer-instincts weren't helping. Our tester's-intuition saw risk everywhere. We needed a third way; the hard-nosed, boots on the ground, skeptical mindset of the detective! Jenny Bramble, Director of Quality Engineering, and Adrian P. Dunston, Director of Backend Engineering at Papa will give you a powerful mental model for tracking down production issues in your codebase and a set of tools to help you along the way. Using noir and tv-detective stories as a backdrop, you'll learn how to: take ownership for a production behavior, hit the streets to find the relevant facts and metrics, confront any hard truths you may find, bring your tools to bear, and follow through to make production a better place for everyone. With the detective mindset, grit, and determination you can go beyond sleuthing out your systems' behaviors. You'll build better paths to observability and better processes to prevent and recover production incidents. You might even help your colleagues find detective hats of their own.

Jenny Bramble

Jenny Bramble came up through support and DevOps, cutting her teeth on that interesting role that acts as the 'translator' between customer requests from support and the development team before diving headlong into her career as a tester. Her love of support and the human side of problems lets her find a sweet spot between empathy for the user and empathy for her team. She's done testing, support, or human interfacing for most of her career. She finds herself happiest when she's making an impact on other people--whether it's helping find issues in applications, speaking at events, or just grabbing coffee and chatting.

Adrian Dunston
Adrian P. Dunston has worked in companies of all sizes as a software developer, data architect, scrum master, manager, and briefly founder. His hobbies include cross-referencing several dozens of self-help and leadership books which he quotes endlessly to his amazing wife and fabulous children. Adrian is passionate about neurodiversity, using computers to help people, and storytelling. He also takes extensive notes.