I am very honored to be giving a new talk at MCE 2015 this coming February... I hope to meet some of you there!
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.”