Learning from First Responders: When Your Systems Have to Work

Game Day at Obama for America

Learning from First Responders: When Your Systems Have to Work

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One of the side stories of the 2012 presidential campaign was the success of Obama's software team. The team built their software in-house, and put into practice many ideas from the DevOps world. Game day was one of the most important: an exercise in which part of the team tried as hard as possible to break their systems, while the rest of the team tried to keep things running. They simulated everything from database failure to massive network outages. And as a result, when the election came, they were certain that they could respond to any crisis.

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Dylan Richard

Dylan Richard is the full-bearded technologist who, as Director for Engineering, quietly led the 40 engineers of Obama for America’s Technology team to victory in 2012. Previously, he helmed technical teams as Vice President of Engineering at skinnyCorp (home of threadless.com) and was a Senior Developer at Crate & Barrel. Dylan lives in Chicago, Illinois, with his patient wife, Sarah, two amazing sons, a cat, and a rotating stable of old diesel VWs. His possible favorite claim to fame is having his chest-length beard proclaimed “fierce” by President Barack Obama.