Free On-Site Tech Talks on Incident Management

Would your team or professional group like a free on-site tech talk on incident management? Brent delivers a limited number of these 1-hour talks every month to companies and user groups throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as in other cities that he is traveling to. Join the growing list of organizations who have benefited from these free talks, including LinkedIn, Atlassian, Pivotal, Okta, and BayLISA!

Learning from the Fire Department:
Experiences with Incident Command for IT

Leading companies such as Google, Heroku, and PagerDuty have developed successful incident management practices based on the public safety world’s Incident Command System (ICS)

Brent Chapman presents a talk that offers key lessons learned by those organizations (and a few war stories!), including:

  • Incident response is a critical IT capability
  • It pays to explicitly distinguish between “normal” and “emergency” operations
  • ICS principles apply well to IT incidents
  • Simple modifications to public safety ICS practices make it better for IT needs
  • Certain communications tools are more effective for incident response
  • Checklists are very powerful and under-appreciated tools
  • Blameless postmortems are a key to improving incident response
  • Senior managers can inadvertently disrupt incident response just by showing up

This talk is targeted at IT professionals of all types (including developers, sysadmins, DBAs, DevOps engineers, test/QA engineers, managers, and executives), as well as related specialists such as product managers, program managers, project managers, and customer/user support staff. Anyone who is involved in or affected by incident management will likely find this talk interesting and valuable.


Brent delivered a fascinating talk that sparked a number of important followup conversations within and between our teams, easily a top 5 guest tech talk.

Nicholas Calugar

Software Engineering Manager, Pivotal



Schedule your free on-site tech talk today!


Brent Chapman

Brent Chapman is an expert at emergency management and at helping organizations prepare for and learn from emergencies, working from a strong background in IT infrastructure and site reliability engineering (SRE).

As a leader in Google’s legendary SRE organization, Brent convinced senior management of the need to strengthen and standardize the company’s incident management practices, and created the Incident Management at Google (IMAG) system that is now used throughout the company. He also helped refine the Postmortems at Google (PMAG) system that the company uses to learn from incidents large and small.

Brent brings a unique perspective to his work in IT, as a former air search and rescue pilot and incident commander, an emergency dispatcher and dispatch supervisor for major art & music festivals and events, and a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and instructor.

Throughout his career, Brent has designed, built, managed, and scaled IT infrastructure and teams for everything from embryonic startups to giants such as Google, Apple, and Netflix. He is the coauthor of the highly regarded O’Reilly book Building Internet Firewalls, the developer of widely used open source software, and a popular speaker at conferences worldwide. He has worked with dozens of organizations both in Silicon Valley and around the world, as well as with a variety of non-profit and government entities.

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