97 Things With Nathen Harvey and Emily Freeman

Posted on Monday, Feb 1, 2021
Emily Freeman and Nathen Harvey join Mandi to talk about their book 97 Things Every Cloud Engineer Should Know and some HugOps.


Mandi Walls: Welcome to Page It to the Limit, a podcast where we explore what it takes to run software in production successfully. We cover leading practices used in the software industry to improve both system reliability and the lives of the people supporting their system. I am your host, Mandi Walls. Find me @lnxchk on Twitter. All right, welcome to the podcast. Today I am talking to Emily Freeman and Nathen Harvey. We’re going to be talking about some HugOps, we’re going to talking about their book. Welcome to the podcast, folks. Emily, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

Emily Freeman: Yeah. Thanks for having me. I’m Emily Freeman, I’m the author of DevOps For Dummies. And now, excitingly, 97 Things Every Cloud Engineer Should Know, which I co-authored with Nathen, and I work at Microsoft in developer advocacy.

Mandi Walls: Awesome. And Nathen, for folks who aren’t aware of who you are and what you do?

Nathen Harvey: Hello, Mandi. It’s good to see you, or hear you at least. I’m Nathen Harvey, I’m a developer advocate with Google Cloud, and I had the distinct pleasure and honor of working together with Emily to come up with this 97 Things Every Cloud Engineer Should Know book. And luckily, for both of us, we got to work with 80 other people to come up with the book itself, which was pretty awesome. So, I’m stoked to be here, thanks for having us.

Mandi Walls: Excellent. So, to start us off, why is it 97 things? Is that a prime number? What’s going on there?

Emily Freeman: I think that was O’Reilly’s way of being catchy. If it was a 100 things, you wouldn’t really think of it, but because it’s 97 things, it’s like, “What is that?” Kind of piques your interest. Do you know the full story, Nathen? I don’t.

Nathen Harvey: I definitely know the full story. And so, it’s appropriate as we’re talking about PagerDuty and incident response, everyone wants 100% uptime from [inaudible 00:01:57] 97, that’s pretty good, that’s all your customers actually need, is 97, so why not 97 things? Of course-

Mandi Walls: We’re all after that one nine.

Nathen Harvey: Of course, I’ve completely made up that story, and the reasoning why, but it seems like it fits pretty well.

Emily Freeman: Could you imagine an SLA that was like, “We’re up 97% of the time.”

Mandi Walls: Close enough. Nobody is looking, and those other 3% of the time, no one cares.

Emily Freeman: No.

Mandi Walls: We just go with it.

Nathen Harvey: It might actually be enough. You know, it depends on your business, I guess.

Mandi Walls: So, with all this stuff that’s in the book, there’s a lot of things in there and I haven’t read all of it, but there’s bits and pieces, but it’s not technical stuff. It’s not scripts to copy. There’s like a bunch of really cool stuff in there.

Emily Freeman: Yeah. I wanted to make sure that we cover the breadth of cloud engineering and because each sort of, I’ll call it article, is relatively short, typically under 600 words, it’s really difficult to sort of deep dive in to actually technical solutions. I was treating it as sort of a foundational place so that people can read through that, and kind of know what they need to learn next, like a very friendly beginner’s guide. Because sometimes the hardest part of engineering is just knowing what to Google. Does that make sense?

Mandi Walls: Absolutely. For us old farts, there’s some stuff in there that 10 years ago, the only people that were doing some of those things were some of the biggest players. So, thinking about scalability, thinking about the difference between horizontal and vertical scaling, and some of that like really wonky, dirty stuff is right in there, in the first couple of chapters. Which is super interesting.

Nathen Harvey: Yeah. I also kind of look at it almost like a technical conference, right? The beauty of a technical conference is you get to meet people. As it turns out, the cloud and cloud engineering is all about the people, also. And so with a book like this, this format where we can bring in more than 80 different voices, not only can you pick up on, “Oh, here’s a security thing or here’s a cloud finance thing that I want to get dig deeper into.” But now you also have a human who you could potentially reach out to. And I think I speak for all of the contributors of the book, reach out to us. We want to hear from you as well, and really use this book as a way to start a conversation.

Mandi Walls: I love that.

Emily Freeman: Yeah, absolutely. I think Michelle Brenner is my new best friend, because one of the things she says is that, “No one understands IM.” And I’m totally down with that, no one knows what’s going on there, 100%.

Mandi Walls: So, as you’re picking all these articles, what stood out for you? There’s a lot of different perspectives, some of them aren’t necessarily contradictory, but they kind of weave in and out of each other. How’d you pick all this stuff?

Nathen Harvey: Yeah. I think, as Emily mentioned, we really wanted to go for breadth of, what are all of the various topics? And so, if you look at the book itself, you see migration, security and compliance, observability and security, reliability, cloud economics, automation. We really wanted to cover the breadth of cloud because it is so wide and so deep. Right? So, I think that was kind of the first thing that drove, how do we find 97 articles?

Emily Freeman: I totally agree. Also, I’m big on points of view. So, I think one of the best things a speaker or writer can bring to any kind of conversation isn’t necessarily about their experience or area of expertise, but simply their viewpoint. And it really adds this unique diversity to the book in that we have 97. Well, I guess there weren’t 97 contributors, but so many different contributors who come from different perspectives, and it really creates this sort of really beautiful, I don’t know, story about cloud engineering. It’s not flat.

Nathen Harvey: Right. I counted this morning, Emily it’s 86. We have 86 authors.

Emily Freeman: Okay, thank you.

Mandi Walls: That’s my lucky number, by the way.

Nathen Harvey: So, 86 authors. And not only do they each have their own perspective, but I think we kind of hinted at this already, each one is at a different point in their career and on their journey with cloud engineering. We have an article from Rachel Sweeney about how to get into cloud engineering, what was her journey like getting into the field, all the way through to folks like John Moore, who was the chief software architect at Comcast, who’s been doing this for a little bit of time and has seen a lot of different things on many different sides, and from many different perspectives of cloud engineering.

Mandi Walls: Yeah. I was struck by that, too. It’s not just operations, traditional operations folks in there. There’s a couple of consultants and there’s some application developers and a lot of different perspectives, which was super interesting from that point of view, too.

Emily Freeman: That’s sort of the interesting thing, I think, of where we’re at right now with cloud and DevOps. There’s this melding, sometimes I think a little too much, between operations and application development, right? Where developers are expected to know some operational basics and operations folks are expected to communicate, and share information with developers and kind of educate them in some of these areas.

Mandi Walls: Yeah. Was there anything else that you missed? Did you have somebody or something that you wanted to cover that you didn’t find someone to write about or anything like that?

Emily Freeman: I think there’s always more to say. I mean, again, it’s such a quickly evolving facet of the industry, and it covers so many areas of the industry, right. We have this sort of new concept of a cloud engineer and I feel in some degrees, that’s all of us. It shouldn’t be a separate designation. It’s just sort of the environment we’re in. I’m forgetting who asked it, I’ll find it, I can credit them maybe in the notes. Or no, I think it was Laurie. She asked, if you were telling new people what to get into in tech, what to specialize in, what would it be? And some of the folks said, “Well, cloud engineering.” And I actually started to disagree because it’s sort of the environment we’re in right now, it’s not for me, a specialty. I would choose something a little bit more deep and then apply it to that environment of cloud engineering. But you know, just like cloud is, you were saying 10 years ago before the show, these were the big players that were doing a lot of this stuff. Now, it’s everyone. So, what’s going to happen in 10 years? We just, we don’t know.

Nathen Harvey: Yeah. I also think, as you think about cloud engineering, one of the things that we don’t have covered, although we do talk about software development, we don’t necessarily have any articles on frameworks. Think like rails or Java’s spring framework, right? There isn’t a whole lot of perspective-

Mandi Walls: The 17 JavaScript framework.

Nathen Harvey: 17. Nope, Nope, Nope. It’s 18 now.

Mandi Walls: Got it, yes.

Nathen Harvey: Yes.

Emily Freeman: Well blown, well blown.

Nathen Harvey: [crosstalk 00:08:45] I think that thinking and having some perspective from that angle, I think, really matters as well. Because with a lot of building out applications, frankly, it’s changed how we build applications as you move them to the cloud. And really thinking about them and leveraging and how some of those frameworks make that easier, I think is a really important thing to look at as well.

Emily Freeman: Yeah. And scalability, I think 2020 through whatever this is, March take 17, whatever it is. We’ve seen incredible scaling issues just because suddenly, I can speak for Teams, Microsoft’s video tool. I think we’ve 8X, like the use of it. I mean, we are seeing constraints and use of these tools in ways we haven’t ever seen before. And so, people are having to start to think a little bit more about what makes something reliable and scalable.

Mandi Walls: Yeah, absolutely. I definitely appreciated the extra half day off when everybody came back from Christmas vacation, where Slack just was like, “Oh, you mean everybody and their brother wants to download 10 days of leftover memes and whatever other messages.” There’s no precedent for that. We have no idea what’s going to happen.

Emily Freeman: It fell over hard.

Mandi Walls: It’s a nice, nice, smooth, flow integration back into work that day.

Emily Freeman: Yeah. It was great. Though, that week was a little chaotic, if I’m going to be honest. Because it was Monday, Slack went down. Tuesday, we had the Georgia runoffs. And Wednesday we had, what would we call that?

Mandi Walls: A hot mess.

Emily Freeman: A hot mess. Okay.

Nathen Harvey: Also spelled insurrection.

Emily Freeman: Insurrection, sedition. What are the words we’re using?

Mandi Walls: Right? I’ve been telling people, I started measuring doom scrolling by feet, right, like in Harry Potter where the kids have to write so many inches of parchment. I doom scroll by the foot. That’s just life right now. Absolutely.

Emily Freeman: Reminds me of that gum. Do you remember that gum?

Mandi Walls: Yeah.

Nathen Harvey: Fruit by the Foot.

Emily Freeman: There we go, Fruit by the Foot. Right. The 80’s and 90’s are getting a little fuzzy, now. I’m sorry, guys.

Mandi Walls: Yeah, right?

Emily Freeman: Feels like distant, distant history at this point.

Nathen Harvey: I do think also, as you look back on 2020, what a year it was. And one of the challenges I think that we had was actually finding 80 different voices to come and contribute to this book. I mean, pulling together a book, and I came in sort of in the second half of the project. So maybe, Emily, you can share a little bit at the beginning. But trying to pull together a book in the year 2020 just felt pretty like a bold move, Cotton. Yeah. So, Emily.

Mandi Walls: See how that works out for you.

Emily Freeman: Yeah. What Nathen’s not saying is he dragged this project cross the finish line. I collapsed somewhere in the fourth inning, and he just grabbed me by the collar and pulled me across. No, it was incredibly difficult. And you know, we embarked on this, I guess at least it was probably January. And so, my little naive, hopeful self was like, “Yeah, this is going to be great, blah, blah, blah.” And then COVID hit. And it’s like, we’re all dealing with, I mean, just dark places, to be honest, you know? We’ve sort of normalized, in some strange way. But you know, March, it was like, “Oh, it’ll just be like four weeks. Right?” And then April, it was like, “I need more wine.” And then, I just kept going, and people were exhausted. And so, the editors, bless them, were like, “Well, don’t people have more time?” And I’m like, “Yeah, but we’re kind of an emotional mess. So, it’s not like it’s being productive.”

Mandi Walls: 600 words feels like jumping off a cliff at that point.

Emily Freeman: Absolutely. Yeah. The agency folks who contributed are absolute heroes, Nathen is a hero. Getting through this, I mean, it was an amazing feat.

Mandi Walls: So, this is super different from your first book, which you wrote on your own. Right? Your solo author on, DevOps for Dummies. We give that to people who ask, that’s a recommendation we give to customers who are like, “We don’t know where to start.” And you’re like, “Well just start here. It’s in plain English. So, like go for it.” Right?

Emily Freeman: Thank you so much. That’s such a wonderful thing.

Mandi Walls: So when you’re, when you’re pushing at least two different projects, you have like a different kind of narrative, a different kind of thing you want to say, then there’s 86 cats to wrangle.

Emily Freeman: This was actually like a PM project. And again, I say naive, I’m serious when I say that. I was like, “Oh, this will be easy.” No, it was not. PMing things is hard. I’m the first to say that administrative things are not my strong suit, as you know. Because when we joined this, Nathen had added a bunch of things to the document and I hadn’t even looked at it. In fact, I don’t even have access to it. So, really kind of following up with people and keeping track of things, that was very interesting and much different than when you’re writing a book for yourself and that’s hard in different ways. But they were both pretty difficult.

Nathen Harvey: Yeah. And to that end, shout out to our editors that really helped with this from O’Reilly, Sarah and Jennifer, who really helped stay on top of those authors for us, because there was a lot going on. There was a lot going on, for sure. And I think, in terms of also just some of the things that we didn’t get to say, we only had space for 97. We definitely had additional articles that we weren’t able to include in the book. But what a year it was pulling this together. It was super fun and insightful. But yeah, there was a couple of things going on.

Emily Freeman: I got a few notes when it was announced. They were like, “You did this this year?” And I’m like, “I mean, I kicked it off. Nathen finished it. Yes we did.” Yeah.

Mandi Walls: Excellent. All right. Well, let’s change gears just a little bit. One of the things that all us DevRole folks do, and we talked about Slack’s outage and some other things there a couple minutes ago, like when Nathen and I worked together at Chef, we had this concept of HugOps. So, I wanted to talk about that like, “Happy new year, and we survived, and hugs to everyone,” and that sort of thing. And what’s your feeling on HugOps these days? We don’t get to see anybody, so you have not given a real person a hug in a year, really.

Emily Freeman: My child, my poor child is like, “Will you get off of me?” I’m in love. No, it’s hard. And I am a hugger. I’m an extrovert. So, my father who’s the most introverted human I know is like, “You must be having a really hard time.” I am, Dad. Yes. That’s accurate. No, no. I mean, it’s a different kind of challenge. I mean, I don’t know about you all. I find it difficult to connect with people virtually in the same way. It’s nice to see all your faces. I’m so grateful that this is happening in 2020 and not 1980 or whatever else. But it’s not the same.

Nathen Harvey: Yeah. I think obviously, maybe not obviously, I definitely miss hugs. I definitely miss seeing people and being able to connect on that very personal level. When you talk about HugOps, I think it’s also really important just to go back to sort of the roots of HugOps, right? HugOps was born from this place where, as the folks that are responsible for keeping the internet running, for keeping our applications and our services running, all too often, we get the spotlight shown on us when things are bad. And so, there’s not this appreciation. And so, in my mind, HugOps was born out of this recognition that look, we’re here for you, and we’re here to support you. And we recognize the work that you do is important. And from that, really, this HugOps movement was born. But it was really about recognizing the people and the work that was put in and how that work, in the best case, that work is invisible, which means that when it is visible, it’s probably a bad day.

Mandi Walls: Yeah, absolutely. No one thinks about the other five nines of uptime when things are going well, and everything is great, and all the shopping carts are going through, and the streams are running, or whatever’s going on. It’s those couple of minutes where things weren’t available, and the 404, the 500 shows up and everybody is up in arms.

Emily Freeman: And just for perspective, for people that don’t know, 99.999 is five minutes of uptime per year. Per year. That’s not a lot, y’all. You can wait your doom scrolling for just a minute. I don’t think people understand that perspective. It is a very small window of error.

Mandi Walls: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s really, really aggressive. And all the additional mitigations, and all these other things that you can do to give yourself some space behind firewalls or whatever else, your virtual IPS and all these other things are just strategies to buy a couple more minutes, really, off of that five, 10, 12 minutes a year where you can fiddle around with things without breaking every SLA you have.

Emily Freeman: No, when you really start digging into SLAs at companies, they’re not as aggressive as the basic-

Nathen Harvey: No.

Emily Freeman: … the legal document is radically different than the marketing homepage-

Nathen Harvey: Yes.

Emily Freeman: … which is funny.

Nathen Harvey: We have an article about service level objectives in the book, around that as well. And kind of the differences between SLOs and SLAs isn’t necessarily mentioned in the book, but I always find it fascinating. You can go and read an SLA. And I always say that an SLA is a contract. The only time you care about the contract is when you’re angry, angry enough to like open up the drawer and pull out the contract to read it. And then, you’re disappointed because you find that all of your anger is well within the balance of the SLA. So, there’s no recourse for you. And that’s where something like a service level objective, which takes a customer centric point of view, instead of a defensive point of view for the company. That is sort of a more modern way of thinking about reliability and talking about how do we actually provide the service that our customers want to keep them happy.

Emily Freeman: Yeah, absolutely.

Nathen Harvey: I think the other thing with HugOps that we see, unfortunately, we still continue to see to this day is technology companies whose competitors have outages, and then those technology companies kind of jump on that, “Oh, look.” In sort of a schadenfreude moment like, “Oh, look at Slack. They’re down.” Don’t celebrate that, because you’re next.

Emily Freeman: Something something, glass houses.

Mandi Walls: That is not a marketing opportunity. That is not a campaign to launch to your prospects. You are next. Nobody is immune to any of this, 100%.

Nathen Harvey: Absolutely.

Emily Freeman: Yeah. That’s actually one of the roles, I think, that developer relations plays in companies that we never talk about. Which is, kind of putting the reigns on certain other people. Because I can totally see, like from a marketing perspective, of course you’re going to try and capitalize on the situations that allow you to have a little bit more of a foothold. And we, as the sort of voice of the community are like, “No, no, no, no, don’t do that.” And it’s important.

Mandi Walls: Yeah. It absolutely is like, you don’t want them to do that to you when it’s your turn. We’re all learning all of this stuff. None of these things existed five minutes ago, everything is completely different from what it was just a handful of months ago.

Emily Freeman: Absolutely.

Mandi Walls: Calm down.

Emily Freeman: Calm down. Sit down.

Nathen Harvey: Sit down, or go find that person who’s having that rough day and offer them a hug. It’s important. I did use important wording there, offer them a hug. Hugs should always be offered and accepted.

Mandi Walls: Yes, all consensual hugs.

Nathen Harvey: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Mandi Walls: What are you looking forward to for 2021? I don’t know when we’ll be out seeing anybody. I don’t have anything on my schedule that’s in person yet.

Emily Freeman: Part of me is like, don’t jinx it, don’t put something on the calendar because then, you’ll get smacked by karma or whatever. But I don’t know, I’m in this sort of state of, I’ve entered this sort of stasis, which is different from me because I am someone who likes to move fast and is always in the future. I have anxiety. Som one of the things I knew that I had anxiety, it was like, “Depression, you’re always in the past. Anxiety, you’re always in the future.” I was like, “Oh, that one. That one. That’s me.” I’ve kind of learned to just try and be in the moment, and not really think about what is next week or a month from now and just kind of hold. I think we’re hopefully halfway through. I don’t think there’s any reason to freak out at this point. We’re almost a year into this. So like, a round applause. It’s not nothing. Right? We’ve accomplished something. But yeah, nothing on nothing on my calendar except for Zoom happy hours, endlessly.

Nathen Harvey: Yes, indeed. I mean, obviously I’m looking forward to getting back together in person with people, but I don’t know when. And I certainly don’t want to rush it. Right? That’s that’s no good for me, my family or anyone else that I might run into along the way. So, I guess what I’m looking forward to in 2021 is that we continue to recognize the preciousness of the time that we do get to spend together and use that as a piece of hope. We will eventually get to be in person again with one another, and just hold that preciousness, that precious time dear. And I think also, thinking about conferences is a good example. I expect that we will see conferences that are much more like the DevOps stays. Smaller, more hyper-local than conferences like Coop Con, where it’s 15,000 people that flew to one city in the world. And frankly, I have a personal preference for those smaller, more intimate conferences where you can actually talk to people and really share ideas and get to know one another. And so, I’m looking forward to the return of conferences, but specifically the return of those hyper-local, this is my community, conference.

Emily Freeman: I totally agree. We’re going to have to like retrain our brains, because I’m still watching shows and I’m like, “Yo, wait. Back up, six feet.” And so, getting into a hall full of tens of thousands of people, it makes my skin crawl right now.

Mandi Walls: Yeah. I’m no agoraphobe, but like you say, Cube Con or Re-Invent, no. Not comfortable with that at all.

Nathen Harvey: Yeah. I think it is interesting to see a lot of experimentation in the online space, and how do we bring that feeling back? And I think as long as we continually remind ourselves that we cannot do the same things online that we can do in person, but let’s continue to experiment and discover new ways where we can make a deep connection online. I think that’s interesting.

Emily Freeman: Do you think there’ll be the, I’ve heard lots of theories, early on it was like, “We’ll never go back to in-person events.” I was like, “Ah, I don’t know, humans need connection. That doesn’t make sense.” And then it was, “Well, now we’re going to do hybrid.” Which honestly feels ideal, but that’s a weight, I’ve seen what hybrid education looks like. It’s not pretty, people. So, what you don’t want to do is make it a shitty experience for both groups, instead of a good experience for the group that’s there. So, I’m not sure. What do you guys think?

Nathen Harvey: My perspective is our events have always been hybrid. In most events, there has been a live stream. And if not a live stream, there’ve been recordings of talks. And I think that we have always, and intentionally, optimized for one or the other of those audiences. And typically in an in-person conference, you optimize for the people that are in the room, not for the live stream. Right? And so, I do think that yes, there will be things that are hybrid. They’ll continue to be hybrid, but we will call them in-person conferences with a stream, or with a recording available. Quite frankly, I think that that is the right way to go. If I just think about my experience as a remote worker, I want every meeting that I go to to be binary, this is either a distributed meeting or this is an in-person meeting. And when you try to do that hybrid, it just falls apart.

Mandi Walls: Yeah. I kind of feel like we’re in a place where we need a solution to run, essentially, two events in parallel. Because what I really like about the online events is that it really democratizes who gets to go to an event.

Emily Freeman: Yes.

Mandi Walls: The big events are very expensive, there’s a lot of production value, there’s a lot of benefit obviously in being there in person. But that takes a huge chunk of the potential audience, and basically they are no longer able to attend. So, with the online and the digital experiences, I really like that we could get a lot of different people. You see a lot of different functional jobs and things like that, that are able to come. But yeah, once we get back to having something in person, I don’t want to lose those folks. Right? I want them to have a great experience, too. And it feels like it almost has to be a two-sided kind of experience.

Emily Freeman: Yeah. We’ll see what happens. I’m very curious.

Nathen Harvey: Yeah. I love the way that it just makes the content available to everyone, and you can consume it synchronously or asynchronously. I think if you have a preference, you should absolutely also try out the other way, whether that’s async is the other way or in person is the other way. So, hopefully that people that have discovered conferences over the last year, discovered them because they were easily accessible because everything was online. I do hope that we will find, as an industry, we’ll find ways to allow those people to experience an in-person conference as well, as we get back to whatever comes next, move ahead to whatever comes next.

Mandi Walls: Fail forward into-

Emily Freeman: Oh, I liked that. I haven’t thought about that, good point.

Nathen Harvey: Yeah. Roll backs are a lie.

Mandi Walls: Exactly. Never go back. The river has passed you by, you cannot walk into the same river twice. All right. Well, we’re just about at the end of our time. If there anything else you’d like to leave folks with, is there any tidbits of knowledge or anything you’d like to leave folks with before we go?

Emily Freeman: I’d say, hang in there. If other folks' experiences have been like mine, there’s good days. There’s weird days. There’s bad days. There’s a lot of comfy socks and robes. Just find what kind of gets you through, and don’t judge yourself. I think there was this expectation early on, and this is going to sound hypocritical because we’re talking about a book, but there’s this expectation that while you’re home, you should come out of this looking like you’re super fit or you’ve just written the next great American novel, and it’s okay if you don’t. It’s okay. Just to rest and be where you are.

Nathen Harvey: Yeah. I think, just to amplify that a little bit more, I think we are all distributed, we are all working in a space. But none of us are alone. And you might feel lonely, but please do reach out. There are people out there that are your friends that want to connect with you. Or not, maybe what you need is that moment alone. That’s fine, too. But I think that just recognize that both yourself, you might need to reach out to someone else, and also think about the folks that are your friends and part of your community that you maybe would want to reach out to. Just to check in on them, make sure that they’re doing well. I think that this is a very difficult time, just maintaining those connections is super, super important.

Mandi Walls: Excellent. That’s a fantastic message to leave us on. So, thank you, Nathen, Emily for joining us. We’ll put a link to Emily and Nathen’s book in the show notes, so you can find your own copy of 97 Things Every Cloud Engineer Should Know. And for that, I’m Mandi Walls and I’m wishing you an uneventful day. That does it for another installment of Page It to the Limit. We’d like to thank our sponsor PagerDuty for making this podcast possible. Remember to subscribe to this podcast if you like what you’ve heard. You can find our show notes at pageittothelimit.com and you can reach us on Twitter @pageit2thelimit, using the number two. That’s @pageit2thelimit. Let us know what you think of the show. Thank you so much for joining us, and remember uneventful days are beautiful days.

Show Notes

Get Emily and Nathen’s book, 97 Things Every Cloud Engineer Should Know, now available at O’Reilly.

Additional Resources


Emily Freeman

Emily Freeman

Emily Freeman is a technologist and a storyteller who helps engineering teams improve their velocity. As the author of DevOps for Dummies, she believes the biggest challenges facing developers aren’t technical, but human. Her mission in life is to transform technology organizations by creating company cultures in which diverse, collaborative teams can thrive.

Emily’s experience spans both cutting-edge startups and some of the largest technology providers in the world. Her work has been featured in outlets such as Bloomberg and she is widely recognized as a thoughtful, entertaining, and professional keynote speaker. Emily is best known for her creative approach to identifying and solving the human challenges of software engineering. It is rare in the technology industry to find individuals equally adept with code and words, but her career has been defined by precisely that combination.

Nathen Harvey

Nathen Harvey

As a Cloud Developer Advocate at Google, Nathen helps the industry understand and apply DevOps and SRE practices in the cloud. These practices are rooted in the understanding that increased reliability comes with increased velocity.

He is part of the DevOpsDays conferences global organizing committee and was a technical reviewer for the Accelerate State of DevOps Report.

Nathen’s father thought misspelling his children’s names would be a fun prank to play with consequences that would last a lifetime. "


Mandi Walls

Mandi Walls (she/her)

Mandi Walls is a DevOps Advocate at PagerDuty. For PagerDuty, she helps organizations along their IT Modernization journey. Prior to PagerDuty, she worked at Chef Software and AOL. She is an international speaker on DevOps topics and the author of the whitepaper “Building A DevOps Culture”, published by O’Reilly.