Learning More from Complex Systems

Note: Presentation times are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Thursday, 14 October, 2021 - 04:3005:00

Andrew Hatch, LinkedIn


Complex systems are everywhere. From simple organisms like slime molds, the neural processing power of human brains, navigating rush-hour traffic, or the vast resources of people and technology, interacting with each other in modern organizations. They can be both organic and man-made, they evolve and adapt to their environments and possess a number of common traits, notably emergent behaviors, innate levels of resiliency, a history responsible for their current state, and most importantly are becoming more complex.

But how we do learn about complex systems? Is the pursuit of knowledge through linear analysis enough? Can we cope with complexity by root-cause analyzing our way out of failure? Or is there other approaches to learning we need to do?

This talk will distill a bit of history, science, and philosophy into takeaways that will encourage the audience to think differently about how we can learn from incidents in complex systems

Andrew Hatch, LinkedIn

Andrew moved to the Bay Area last year to become an SRE Manager at LinkedIn. Prior to this, Andrew spent over 20 years working in Australia (plus some time in India), working on small through to large scale software systems, in multiple roles and industries. Before migrating to the US, Andrew spent 6 years moving Australia's biggest online jobs and recruitment platform into AWS. Since 2013, Andrew has predominantly worked as an IC and Manager of SRE teams and through this experience developed a passion for learning and adapting to complex systems and helping teams and organizations learn more from incidents to create better software, more resilient systems, and happier empowered teams. Andrew is also a life-long surfer and can now be found adapting to the crowds at Santa Cruz when not at work or at home with his family.

SREcon21 Open Access Sponsored by Indeed

@conference {276755,
author = {Andrew Hatch},
title = {Learning More from Complex Systems},
year = {2021},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct,

Presentation Video