Jesse Robbins

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Jesse Robbins
Jesse Robbins at Ignite Seattle 4 - squared.png
Born1978 (1978) (age 42)[1]
OccupationFounder of Orion Labs[3][4] & Chef[1]
Known forContributions to computer science, web operations/DevOps, & emergency management [1]

Jesse Robbins (born 1978) is an American technology entrepreneur and firefighter [5][6] notable for his contributions in wearable communication, web operations, DevOps,[7][8][9][10] and emergency management.[11][12][13]


Current work at Orion Labs on real-time voice communication[edit]

Robbins is founder & CEO of Orion Labs, a startup which has created a "Real-Life Star Trek Communicator" called "Onyx". He says he "wanted to bring heads-up, real-time communication to everybody" to build "a world powered by voice".[14][15]

Contributions to web operations and devops[edit]

Robbins worked at with his manager-approved title “Master of Disaster,” where he was responsible for website availability for every property bearing the Amazon brand. He created "GameDay", a project to increase reliability by purposefully creating major failures on a regular basis. Robbins has said GameDay was inspired by his experience & training as a firefighter combined with lessons from other industries and research on complex systems, human cognitive stress models, reliability engineering, and normal accidents. Game day and similar approaches are considered a best practice for large technology companies.[12]

GameDay-like programs have been adopted by many other organizations, including Google, Netflix (called Chaos Monkey),[16] Yahoo, Facebook, and many others.[12][17]

After Amazon, Robbins founded the Velocity Conference to advance the field of Web Operations & DevOps. He also founded Chef, a cloud infrastructure automation company. Robbins left his full-time role with the company in 2013 to start a new company, but remains an advisor.[18] Jesse Robbins was also an early investor in PagerDuty.

Robbins was recognized in 2011 with the Technology Review TR35 award for "transforming the way Web companies design and manage complex networks of servers and software" at, founding the Velocity Web Performance & Operations Conference, and founding Chef and serving as the first CEO.[1][19][20][21][22]

Contributions to disaster response & humanitarian aid[edit]

Robbins volunteered as “Task Force Leader” in Hurricane Katrina. After he returned, he worked with Mikel Maron and OpenStreetMap on techniques and patterns to improve technology adoption in disaster response & humanitarian aid. These improvements were adopted by the United Nations Joint Logistics Centre in response to Cyclone Nargis in 2008 and are now widely adopted. One example was CrisisCommons in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[5][6][23]

Awards and recognition[edit]

2012 - Robbins was named as a Top 10 Cloud Computing Leader of 2012 by TechTarget[24]

2011 - Robbins was selected by Technology Review magazine as one of the top "35 under 35" TR35 innovators in for his work building fault-tolerant online infrastructure at and at Chef.[1]

2010 - Robbins was selected by Business Journal as one of the top "40 under 40" entrepreneurs in 2010 for founding Chef and raising $13 million in venture capital funding.[2][19]

Robbins was recognized in 2011 with the Technology Review TR35 award for "transforming the way Web companies design and manage complex networks of servers and software"[1] at, founding the Velocity Web Performance & Operations Conference, and founding Chef and serving as the first CEO.[19][20][21][22]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Technology Review TR35 Profile: Jesse Robbins". Retrieved 2011-12-14.
  2. ^ a b "2010 40 UNDER 40 JESSE ROBBINS". Retrieved 2011-12-14.
  3. ^ Fox, Pimm (5 Feb 2015). "Orion Labs Creates Real-Life Star Trek Communicator". Bloomberg. BloombergBusiness. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  4. ^ Metz, Cade (21 January 2015). "'Star Trek Communicator Startup' Sets Out to Build a World Powered by Voice". Wired. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b Ginsburg, Janet (7 July 2008). "The Do-Good Imperative". Businessweek. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  6. ^ a b King, Rachael (7 July 2008). "Making Maps Work When Disaster Strikes". Businessweek. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  7. ^ Logan, Martin. "DevOps Culture Hacks talk from Jesse Robbins". Retrieved 13 Feb 2012.
  8. ^ Brumleve, Harry (17 Jan 2013). "The Rise of DevOps with Jesse Robbins". InfoQ. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  9. ^ Edwards, Damon; Willis, John (20 Sep 2011). "DevOps Cafe Episode 19". DevOpsCafe. Archived from the original on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  10. ^ Taylor, Colleen (23 June 2011). "DevOps eliminates knee-jerk no's at the IT level". GigaOm. Retrieved 13 Aug 2011.
  11. ^ O'Reilly, Tim (17 June 2013). "Why We Started the Velocity Conference". O'Reilly Radar. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  12. ^ a b c Jesse Robbins; Kripa Krishnan; John Allspaw; Tom Limoncelli (12 September 2012). "Resilience Engineering: Learning to Embrace Failure". ACM Queue.
  13. ^ John Allspaw; Jesse Robbins; Allspaw, John (2010). Web operations : keeping the data on time (1st ed.). Beijing: O'Reilly. p. 336. ISBN 978-1-4493-7744-1.
  14. ^ Fox, Pimm (6 Feb 2015). "Orion Labs Creates Real-Life Star Trek Communicator". Bloomberg Television. Retrieved 3 Mar 2015.
  15. ^ Gruber, Ben (29 Apr 2015). "Hands free talk with global reach and style". Thomson Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  16. ^ Williams, Alex. "Netflix Open Sources Chaos Monkey – A Tool Designed To Cause Failure So You Can Make A Stronger Cloud". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  17. ^ Haryadi Gunawi; Thanh Do; Joseph M. Hellerstein; Ion Stoica; Dhruba Borthakur; Jesse Robbins (28 July 2011). "Failure as a Service (FaaS): A Cloud Service for Large-Scale, Online Failure Drills" (pdf). Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences University of California at Berkeley: 7. Retrieved 24 June 2013. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ Asay, Matt (5 November 2015). "Building Your Own Cloud Is "Table Stakes," Says Former AWS Engineer". ReadWrite. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  19. ^ a b c John, Cook (16 September 2010). "Fourteen local techies under 40, and the cool stuff they've done". Puget Sound Business Journal - Techflash. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  20. ^ a b Mets, Cade (26 October 2011). "The Chef, the Puppet, and the Sexy IT Admin". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  21. ^ a b Vance, Ashlee (1 September 2011). "Puppet, Chef Ease Transition to Cloud Computing". Businessweek. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  22. ^ a b John, Cook (9 August 2011). "Ex-Avanade boss Mitch Hill jumps back into the startup world, joins Opscode as CEO". Geekwire. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  23. ^ Turner, Andrew. "CrisisCommons and Congress". Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  24. ^ "Top 10 cloud computing leaders in 2012". 20 March 2012.