The problem with a brand-new blog is getting the first post out. Breaking the seal, so to speak. So to force myself through that, I figured I’d give a quick introduction.

I like hats.

I’m Rich Lafferty, a site reliability engineer in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, across the harbour from Halifax. I’ve been doing this kind of thing since 1999 under various titles like “sysadmin”, “ops engineer”, and now “SRE”, and spent a bit of time in a management role as well before returning to an engineering role at PagerDuty where I am currently a staff engineer.

I formerly worked out of PagerDuty’s Toronto office, but during COVID, like everyone else, I had to learn to work from home. Once I spent a bunch of time getting my home workspace just right, I found that I didn’t miss much about the office – especially at a distributed company like PagerDuty. (Even before COVID, my team had members in the Toronto and San Francisco offices, plus Sacramento, Minneapolis and Portland.) So with that in mind, in late 2021 my wife and I moved from Toronto out to the Atlantic coast, settling down here in Dartmouth with our two cats.

My main professional interests these days focus on (but certainly aren’t limited to) reliability and human factors, which is a nice way to bridge technical and organizational/process work. For example, most recently at work I’ve been focusing on our incident review process and introducing SLOs. Outside of work, I play music (bass, cello, Irish flute), and enjoy craft beer and good coffee.

Now that I’ve broken the seal on this new site, in the next little while I’m planning on writing here about tech- and reliability-adjacent things that I’d find interesting, on the assumption that I’d probably not be the only one that finds them interesting.

I’ll leave you with this classic talk by Richard Cook, How Complex Systems Fail.