I am very honored to be giving a new talk at MCE 2015 this coming February... I hope to meet some of you there!
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Many apologies for the delay of this week's case... while you're waiting, please check out one of my writing projects especially for this Christmas season: Dark Yule .

One mid-winter morning, when user logins had slowed to an icy trickle and the mountain was peaceful beneath its blanket of snow, host master Yishi-Shing left his servers in the care of ten capable monks and set out to inspect the state of a distant abbey.

Arriving, he found an unexpected whirlwind of activity. Serious defects plagued the abbey’s software. User activity caused minor errors throughout the database; these errors were compounded by subsequent user actions, ultimately spreading the corruption to highly-sensitive tables. Monks were poring over log files, running emergency data repair scripts, arguing at whiteboards, hammering away at workstations. Desperate patches were released at a frantic pace, resulting in further disasters.

“What of testing?” asked Yishi-Shing.

“No time! No people! No money!” said the abbot, who tightened the straps on his rollerskates and took off down the hall in response to the ringing of another alarm-bell.

Yishi-Shing returned to his own temple, lost in thought.

“How fares the abbey?” asked the monks of the Clan of Iron Bones.

“I saw no abbey,” said Yishi-Shing. “Only a field of cold hard earth where monks dig furrows with their fingernails, while oxen march behind and goad them on with plow-blades.”

“Are the servers in order, at least?” asked one of the monks.

Said Yishi-Shing: “Not servers; masters.”