Anti-Patterns in Tech Cost Management


In 18 months, we've moved from "growth at all costs" to "profitability first," "year of efficiency," and "cloud cost management" as new buzzwords. There has been a newfound interest in developer productivity and a proliferation of models that attempt to measure it, mostly poorly. All these are a reaction to the perception that we're spending too much money for too few business results, in an environment that increasingly prizes quantifiable results. Yet for most of us, even in management, formal training in "efficiency" stopped at Big O notation. This presentation will offer lessons learned and anti-patterns to avoid. It will conclude with three things you can do right now to better position yourself and your team in this new world.

As technology professionals, cost is now becoming one of the things we need to be able to speak to, and those of us who have not lived through previous downturns need to tools to think about the problem both strategically and tactically. This talk will address how to drive a culture of cost management, while continuing to deliver value to our customers, and maintaining motivated, interested development teams. It will be useful to both practitioners who have not had to think about these problems before, and to those who have worked through previous downturns and need to apply old practices to new environments. In a recent role, Michael was responsible for reducing spend by $42m for his AWS team over three years. He'll bring lessons from that role and others to point out the mistakes that you can't afford to make!


  1. A brief review of how you should think about costs, from short term tactical and operational costs, to long term/architectural and organizational problems. This will assist the practitioner in thinking about "what should I do now/this month/this year/long term?"

  2. Anti patterns in cost management.
    There are a lot of good ideas. In fact, many more than can be addressed in one presentation, but the speaker's experience has identified some clear anti-patterns that will lead to poor results, organizational frustration and churn.

  3. Some things to do right now.

The information in this presentation is informed by experience with large cloud providers, self-hosted open-source software, and hybrid approaches using both open-source and cloud managed software. It is appropriate to practitioners at all levels.

Ballroom C
Saturday, March 16, 2024 - 18:15 to 19:15