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SLOconf 2023 QA: Newly Founded Consultancy, Ergonautic is Helping Organizations Evolve People, Practices and Platforms


SLOconf is the only event dedicated to the practice and application of Service Level Objectives (SLOs). Taking place May 15-18, SLOconf 2023 is a virtual event now in its third year. The agenda will include more than 70 speakers with presentations laser-focused on all aspects of SLOs. 

In this exclusive pre-show Q&A, we're speaking with Andrew Clay Shafer, Principal, Ergonautic. Ergonautic is advancing the theory and practice of humans working together with technology.

VMblog:  To kick things off, give VMblog readers a quick overview of the company.

Andrew Clay Shafer:  Ergonautic is a newly founded technology agnostic consultancy helping organizations evolve people, practices and platforms to be fit for their unique mission. Ergonautic has deep experience working across communities of practice in open source, cloud computing and system automation. The market is noisy and confusing, Ergonautic is here to offer guidance, perspective and a helping hand.

VMblog:  What made you sponsor SLOconf 2023? Is this a must-sponsor event for your company?

Shafer:  Our strategy centers on connecting to practitioners looking to advance their understanding and take action. Advancing SLOs in practice will help everyone and we're honored to play a small part supporting that mission. 

VMblog:  What is your message to attendees of the show?

Shafer:  Events like SLOconf are a chance to find and connect with people all over the world. Be inspired that there is always more to learn. Balance the inspiration with specific practical actions you can take back to your daily work. Don't worry about perfection, focus on improvement. The best practice for you is the improvement you can practically implement.

VMblog:  What are the market needs or problems that your company is solving for these attendees?

Shafer:  We are authentically curious problem solvers. The market is flooded with a parade of buzzwords, which have merit but often get confused or co-opted with marketing. Ergonautic helps organizations improve outcomes by focusing on their unique conditions and making incremental progress. Sometimes progress is better tools, sometimes progress is better practices. We give organizations the permission to get off the digital transformation treadmill, stop adopting, start adapting. For SLOconf, we want to be part of the community learning, sharing, and improving together.

VMblog:  What sets you apart from the competition?

Shafer:  Individually, the founders have history but the Ergonautic story is just beginning and we're intent on doing the best work of our careers.

VMblog:  Is your company launching anything new at the show? Can you give us a sneak peek?

Shafer:  We're developing a series of workshops to help organizations build coalitions to co-design and deliver their fit for purpose socio-technical platforms. That might sound like academic gibberish but the ideal is practice based on theory to progressively improve developer productivity without compromising operational efficiency, security or compliance.

VMblog:  What will you be showing off at the show this year?

Shafer:  How nice and fun we are. Don't talk about it, be about it. 

VMblog:  What are the trends your company is seeing that we should be aware of in 2023 and beyond?

Shafer:  Many organizations are struggling with basics. A lot of investments in cloud and automation haven't delivered the promised results because organizations rushed into the hype cycles without building up their foundational understanding and practice. Organizations struggle when they fund cloud, microservices, continuous delivery, devops, SRE, and platform as separate initiatives without reconciling how the pieces fit together. With the macroeconomic climate, there may be a lot more scrutiny and efficiency and effectiveness will be paramount. If you don't have time to do it right, when will you get time to do it over? Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Always and forever.


Published Thursday, May 11, 2023 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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