Resilience Engineering — Don’t Be Afraid to Show Your Vulnerable Side!

Grigor Khachatryan
4 min readFeb 10, 2021

Every software developer’s primary goal is to come up with a practical, intuitive, and robust product, a platform or service lots of people can use without any major issue. The problem is that what happens out there with real users is a lot more, well, chaotic than in a control environment developers initially work in. That’s why more and more devs have been using specialized techniques to test out their handiwork and ensure optimal reliability.

Resilience engineering is a practice within Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), closely related to Chaos Engineering. If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around all these terms, don’t worry, we’ll cover each aspect separately and then show you the real magic behind properly applied resilience engineering.

First, here’s a short history lesson.

Where Did SRE Come from?

SRE dates back to almost two full decades ago when a ragtag group of Google devs tried to find a way to improve the reliability of the company’s sites and keep them working smoothly as they grew. Needless to say, these guys were so effective that their techniques and strategies were turned into an IT subset of its own.

It’s an important part of modern DevOps and helps bridge the gap between the initial framework created by developers and the highly practical concerns of real-life system administration.

The Advent of Chaos Engineering

These days, it’s not easy to see an issue coming a mile away and address them in advance to keep a company’s cloud-based platform up and running. And with even just 10–20 minutes of downtime, large corporations stand to lose a lot of potential business, as well as their brand equity. Enter the creatively destructive art of Chaos Engineering.

Think of it as handing the keys to your finely-tuned sedan to a rally driver to run it through its paces on the track and see what breaks first when the system is pushed to its limits.

If you do this on your first batch of sedans, you can go back to the shop and tweak out all the little glitches and potential weak spots, ensuring that the cars run like greased lightning for miles without…