Welcome to SNAFUcatchers

A consortium of industry leaders and researchers united in the common cause of understanding and coping with the immense levels of complexity involved in the operation of critical digital services.

June 19, 2019

 From: https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2019/06/18/why-do-systems-fail

Argentina was plunged into darkness that affected 44 million people Sunday. And Target says its stores are operating normally after glitches prevented customers from paying with some credit cards over the weekend.

These are some of the latest examples of complex systems failing catastrophically, which has become a fixture of modern life. But David Woods, a professor in integrated systems engineering at Ohio State University...

June 7, 2019

SNAFU Catcher's Consortium lead researcher Dr. David Woods was featured in Air Traffic Management magazine discussing automation surprise, learning from incidents and complexity surrounding the Boeing 737 Max.

“...The industry has to stop rationalising away the lessons from accidents - the difficulties of learning after accidents have occurred are profound. It is easier to look at each event in isolation seeing only the specific details that define a narrow set of changes needed to facilitate a r...

May 24, 2019

The SNAFU Catchers Consortium will be featured at the 2019 Resilience Engineering Symposium in Kalmar, Sweden.

The afternoon track on critical digital infrastructure will feature speakers from IBM, New Relic, Salesforce, IEX, Slack and Release Engineering Approaches and describe the challenges facing modern organizations running continuous deployment systems at scale and speed.

In addition, we will share research from the Ohio State University Cognitive Systems Engineering Lab focused on critical...

January 3, 2019

Call for proposals and registration is open!  

This content is from:  https://lnu.se/en/research/conferences/8th-rea-symposium-2019


Embracing resilience: Scaling up and Speeding up

We work in a complex world of changing pressures, relationships, interdependencies, and novel possibilities. Past performance and safety are no guarantee of continued success. What matters more and more is the ability to cope with the unexpected, and adapt to keep pace with c...

August 26, 2018

Last week Laura & John attended the inaugural REdeploy conference in San Francisco!  

Conference organizers J. Paul Reed and Mary Thengvall hosted a variety of speakers from across the tech industry and the academic world to explore topics in Resilience Engineering

John's talk - In The Center Of The Cycle: Finding Sources Of Resilience 

Laura's talk - Operating At The Edge Of The Envelope

July 10, 2018

If you weren't in London for the 2018 DevOps Enterprise Summit you missed Richard's talk 'Working at the center of the cyclone'.  Fortunately, the good people at IT Revolution posted it for you here.

May 7, 2018

John Allspaw talks to Nathen Harvey & Alan Kraft about the Stella report and the second cycle of the Consortium.

Some great detailed show notes and Alan offers a 'get up to speed' path on the Stella report!


April 6, 2018

John takes to Medium to explain Dark Debt with excerpts from the Stella report.


The challenge of dark debt is a difficult one. Because it exists mainly in interactions between pieces of the complex system, it cannot be appreciated by examination of those pieces. After anomalies have revealed the relationships they appear obvious but the appearance is mainly hindsight bias (Woods & Cook, 1999). The existence of dark debt poses a substantial challen...

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