Real World Code Livestream: Preventing Cascade Failures Caused by Excessive Concurrent Writes in a Heroku Hosted, Amazon RDS Backed Ruby on Rails App

On January 15th at 10AM PT/1PM ET, Betsy and Zee are live-streaming their attempts to debug and resolve a cascade failure of a Heroku-hosted, RDS-backed Ruby on Rails API. Anyone may access it via this Livestream URL.

We’ll be working on solving a critical production issue for one of our delivery client-partners; Notabli. Notabli is a worker/founder-owned scrapbooking tool. They make it easy for family members to take pictures, share them, and print them in a private, secure environment. They’re also 100% donation driven. They provide a beautiful service! But they don’t have piles of money to throw at Unicorn 10x Programmers the SV startup scene is so enraptured by.

In lieu of payment, they’ve granted us the rights to share our sessions solving the problems they’re experiencing in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, viewers will be interested in hiring us for our technical coaching services or our real world refactoring training. (End of Pitch ;))

RSVP at EventBrite to Attend!

Notabli reached out to us the day after Christmas because their API was falling over under load. Their Lead Engineer, Ty Rauber was working hard with their Head of Product, Jackson Latka, to bring it back up. They wanted a second pair of programmer-eyes, and well… I was bored! Isn’t that what everyone uses the Holidays for? Triaging production issues for other peoples’ software?

For more context you can read our full incident report, How We Used the OODA Loop to Triage a Cascade Failure for a Heroku-hosted, RDS Backed Ruby on Rails App!

We expect to make significant progress in one or two two-hour sessions, and we’re inviting you to ride-along with us.

Jackson likely will join us for the first 15~30 minutes to make sure we have everything we need, and then we’ll dive right in.

RSVP at EventBrite to Attend!


  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please email [email protected] before or during the event; or mention @wecohere on twitter.
  • Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable? Yes! Technically, the event will be publicly live-streamed so it’s infinitely transferrable!
  • Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? Yes! Anyone can attend, even if they do not RSVP.

Your application is used by people. Those people sometimes run into unexpected events that make them sad. When that happens, they talk to your support team. Your support team does everything in their power to turn that frown upside down; and they need your help.

This collection of talks and activities help your team understand the day to day work of your organization’s support heroes, identify ways to provide them with the information and tools they need to create delightful customer experiences.

Building Supportable Applications is available as a half or full day workshop for your organization. Reach out to [email protected] to get yours scheduled.

This talk is geared to help you:

  • Identify and empathize with your organization's support team.
  • Explore different application support strategies and where they work best.
  • Understand the costs and benefits of making supportability a priority.
  • Design a holistic approach that weaves together product planning, engineering, support and infrastructure.

Jennifer and Zee co-presented Gardening Your Team in 2019 at RailsConf in Minneapolis.

Title slide from presentation

Six areas of engineering management through the lens of empowering and trusting your team.

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  • Tanya Reilly, “Glue Work”
  • Courtney Eckhardt, “Retrospectives for Humans”
  • Jennifer Davis, “Hero to Zero”
  • Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • Tuckman’s stages of group development

I thought of software architects as petty waterfall dictators. Then I became one. My theater background saved me. In this talk, we’ll look at set design — an ongoing, collaborative process — as a model for a more agile kind of “architecture” than building metaphors allow us. You’ll learn about the most important part of any architecture (hint: people), about using architecture to foster team creativity, and about the agile-architecture superpowers that Ruby gives us. No matter your title, you too can architect!

This talk is geared to help you:

  • Learn how to make software design more collaborative.
  • Use the ideas behind set design to foster creativity.

Reactive data structures are intuitive and flexible. But they’re not always enough structure for complex client applications. How can we scale understandability? This talk presents three Vue.js techniques: partially applied utility functions, unmounted data-store components, and a hybrid technique that can give us the benefits of each. You’ll learn what each technique is good for — and where each can trip you up. Whether you use Vue or React or even JQuery day-to-day, you’ll come away with a better understanding of how to leverage reactivity for understandability when understandability gets hard.

This talk is geared to help you:

  • Avoid understandability traps when building reactive UIs.
  • Write more useful partials and utility functions.
  • Work with unmounted data store components.
  • Blend functional and object oriented tactics to get the best of both.

Jennifer presented You Can’t Bubblebath The Burnout Away in 2019 at RailsConf in Minneapolis.

Title slide from presentation

Why do we turn to self-care?

Why does self-care sometimes not work?

What do we do when self-care stops working?

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  • Capitalism and self care:
  • On burnout for the millenial generation:
  • An intersectional perspective on burnout::
  • Actionable advice for specific steps you can take:
  • A personal perspective on the experience of E_INSUFFICIENT_HOURS_FOR_MORE_SELF_CARE:
  • Book rec!! I haven’t read this book on burnout by Emily Nagoski, PhD and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, but I expect it to be really helpful:
  • Techniques for staying kind, resilient, and creative when things get hard at work:
  • Forbes on what causes your burnout:

Attend Real World Code Livestream: Preventing Cascade Failures Caused by Excessive Concurrent Writes in a Heroku Hosted, Amazon RDS Backed Ruby on Rails App at Online on Jan 15, 2019 with Zee Spencer and Betsy Haibel!