Resilience in Action

Episode 1: Narratives in Incidents with Lorin Hochstein

April 07, 2020 Lorin Hochstein Episode 1
Resilience in Action
Episode 1: Narratives in Incidents with Lorin Hochstein
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Resilience in Action is a podcast about all things resilience, from SRE to software engineering, to how it affects our personal lives, and more. Resilience in Action is hosted by Blameless Staff SRE Amy Tobey. Amy has been an SRE and DevOps practitioner since before those names existed. She cares deeply about her community of SREs and wants to take what she’s learned over the 20+ years of her career to help others. 

In our very first episode, Amy chats with Netflix software engineer Lorin Hochstein. Lorin is uniquely focused on deep incident analysis and narratives, and was drawn into the storytelling approach due to his fascination with how complex systems fail or behave in unexpected ways. 

He realized that the valuable data from Netflix's complex systems was being under-utilized due to shallow post-incident retrospectives and lack of reporting on non-streaming incidents. To combat this, Lorin pioneered the “Oops” write-ups, fostering continuous learning within the organization and creating a deeper level of psychological safety by focusing on the individual incident participant’s narrative of what happened.

What it’s like to move from resilience to software engineering
How the emotional work of post-incident analyses affects other facets of life
Techniques for ‘brain dumping’ to drive deeper post-incident narratives
How focusing on narrative helps engagement with incident reports
Looking to fiction or other forms of storytelling to inform narratives
Netflix’s growth in resilience engineering capabilities and best practices
How perception of incident analysis changed after narrative was strongly encouraged
Netflix’s cultural change took and the process it entailed
Selling incident analysis to leadership
The effects of freedom and responsibility on engineer autonomy
Thinking of resilience in terms of family and home during this turbulent time