High Failability

Short Form


Want to hear real-world, sanitized tales of failed website launches? We could just talk launch success, but that's just not as interesting. Fire and brimstone with a positive spin. Educational pain.


Launch day can be a stressful time for the website stakeholders: executives, investors, developers, project managers, editors, and anyone else who shares the joy (and/or pain) of a launch. The stakeholders might even be spread across multiple companies or institutions, if development and hosting are done by other people. The recent HealthCare.gov debacle highlights the importance of having a launch plan throughout your development process.

We’ll discuss how to strategically prepare for site launches, and we’ll talk about common launch blockers.

At Acquia, we’ve seen thousands of launches, and in many cases we’ve had to jump in and help ailing launches get back on track. We’ve learned a lot about what works, and sadly, what doesn’t work. Even the most painful failure can become a teaching tool, so let’s turn some lemons into lemonade.

In this talk we’ll discuss these things:
- Low hanging fruit that can save your site’s bacon on launch day
- Common mistakes made that can hurt your site launch
- How debugging and load testing are an essential tools before a successful launch
- How agile development helps ensure rapid turnaround after launch

This session is appropriate for:
- Companies with site launches in their future
- Key decision makers looking to ensure their team is aware of launch pitfalls
- People with self-hosted sites curious about benefits of managed hosting and support


websites, Drupal, devops, mysql, Varnish, launches

Speaking experience

Emily spoke at OSB 2013 on "the art of bad shell scripting", and Howard has given talks to the Drupal User Group at the University of North Texas in Denton.


  • Biography


  • Biography

    Linux nerd since 1998. Emily has been a sysadmin generalist since 1998 with a special focus on mysql and a love of bad shell scripting.