I’m happy to speak on building high performing engineering teams, leadership, Serverless, Modern System Administration, and DevOps.


  • April 9, QCon London Thriving Through Change: Leading Through Uncertainty



  • October 25 QCon SF Navigating Complex Environments and Evolving Relationships





  • March 25, SRECon “The Ops in Serverless”







Talk Descriptions

Thriving Through Change: Leading Through Uncertainty

Navigating change and building resilient teams is a complex challenge that many organizations face. Times of change can lead to uncertainty, disagreement, and a breakdown in trust. These challenges can have a cumulative effect, creating a negative feedback loop that leads to a downward spiral in team performance making it difficult to recover and achieve desired outcomes.

In this talk, I will share my people-centric approach to navigating change and building teams that can overcome challenges and deliver value sustainably. I will provide practical advice based on my real-world experience on how to build and sustain high-performing teams by exploring strategies to:

  • Facilitate functional leadership
  • Maintain healthy conflict
  • Identify and measure meaningful metrics
  • Create an environment that engages, connects, and supports people

Organizations evolve. Industry tools and practices change. Individuals have a wide array of opportunities. As leaders, we have to navigate ambiguity, and provide structure for individuals to support their growth, while also enabling a group of individuals to come together and align to deliver business value. There is no perfect path to help build a team that is optimized for every context that can weather each change. But, there are practices and tools you can adopt to support your teams’ journey towards team flow.

In this talk, I will share my people-centric approach to building teams with individuals that engage, connect, align and support one another to deliver value in a sustainable manner. You’ll walk away with some tips that you can implement (as well as the context as to when to apply them) in three key areas:

  • Functional Leadership - Different situations require different kinds of leadership. You need to enable the right kind of leadership at different moments in time. How do you enable individuals to embrace their leadership capabilities?
  • Boundary Setting - What boundaries do you need to set that support the individuals and the team? How do you enforce the boundaries?
  • Learning and Adaptability - How do you make time for people to not only learn, but share what they’ve learned so the rest of the team can make sense of the decisions they’ve made and the team as a whole can adapt to this knowledge?

The Ultimate Guide to Complicated Systems

Building and maintaining distributed systems is hard. Industry tools and recommended practices are evolving at an ever-increasing velocity. New platform choices reduce infrastructure management and add operational complexity obscuring the value of operation skills. Often, bureaucratic decisions drive practices and tool choices. Jennifer Davis explores cultivating your path enabling technical and strategic direction with sustainable engineering practices.

The Ops in Serverless

A function is deployed and alerts go off. When our intrepid site reliability engineer responds to the change in availability, she begins the task of debugging and implementing new tests to catch the issue in future deployments. While the nature and complexity of computing changes, the need for specialized operations engineering skills increases.

In this talk, we examine the role of Operations, how it has evolved with the advent of new compute paradigms and what the future looks like. We’ll examine the serverless platform in three critical areas of operational readiness of testing, monitoring, and debugging.

DevOps: Now and to the Future

It’s been a decade of devops, how has it shaped our industry and where are we going next? In this talk, we’ll take a look at the evolution of software tools and impact on devops in the last 10 years and our path to the future. We’ll cover key skills and practices that are the bedrock to effective devops within organizations.

Topics include:

  • DevOps and SRE, what’s the difference?
  • Do we need DevOps with Serverless?
  • How do security, testers, and other engineers impact devops?

Prioritizing Trust while Creating Applications

Managing risk needs to scale as your product grows in popularity and complexity. In traditional software development, often security was treated as a last gating factor at best and post-incident concern at worst. How do we shift our security processes left - in other words, earlier in the development lifecycle? The cost of applying security practices too late can be catastrophic to a company, leading to the loss of customer trust and affecting the bottom line.

Join me in this session to learn how to leverage security tools and recommended practices to enable everyone to play a part in securing your application from discovery to operation of your application.