Philly ETE 2023 — Hacking The Pachyderm: Scaling Servers And People — Hazel Weakly



Let’s set the stage, shall we? First, we have the starting cast: Kris Nova, Quintessence, and the plucky but nascent beginnings of the Hachyderm community. Then we have the stage: The Watertower, home of the beloved motly crew of Nova’s animaniac named servers, nestled lovingly in the basement. Next, we have the Hachyderm infrastructure team. Myself, Dominic, Malte, and Tani.

And then, well, we have the problem.

Cast your mind back to November of 2022. Twitter’s on fire, and Hachyderm has grown from its small 700 users to a roaring 30,000 users in one month. Now, not only is Twitter on fire, but the Watertower is too.

Woe! Tragedy! How do we handle this?! We didn’t see it coming, and had no time to prepare, but now we’re in the thick of it, but we won’t despair.

In this talk, I’m going to go over how we handled this, the decisions we made, the limitations we faced, and the friendships we found in each other.

We migrated a complicated distributed system across the Atlantic Ocean. One that was growing in real time. We did so while dealing with multiple types of failures and suffered zero data loss and we kept the trust of our beloved community by not letting them down.

Not only that, but nobody burned out, nobody was unduly stressed or overworked, and we all came out stronger and more prepared than ever. Come along with me on this journey and I’ll take you through the how’s, the almost’s, the could’ve’s, and the might’ve been’s.

Together we’ll relive the race against Time and the battle against the very fabric of Systemic Chaos itself.

About Hazel Weakly

Hazel spends her days working on building out teams of humans as well as infrastructure, systems, automation, and tooling to make life better for others. She’s worked at a variety of companies, across a wide range of tech, and knows that the hardest problems to solve are the social ones. One of her favorite things is watching someone light up when they understand something for the first time, and a life goal of hers is to help as many people as possible experience that joy. She also loves swing dancing, both as a leader and a follower.

About the Conference

The Philly Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise (ETE) is the Mid-Atlantic’s premier developer’s conference. Entering its 17th year, we’ve brought world-class speakers — including some local favorites — to speak about leading-edge technologies being used today, and emerging technologies that will be important for attendees to know about in the near future.

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Check out our YouTube playlist to watch all the talks from Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise 2023.