Robert Meaney

Poppulo | Ireland

BIO: Rob Meaney is a tester that loves tough testing and software delivery problems. He works with teams to help create products that customers love and know they can rely upon. Although he enjoys learning about software delivery, in general, he’s particularly interested in Quality Engineering, Test Coaching, Testability, and Testing in Production.

Currently, he’s working as Head of Testing & Test Coach for Poppulo in Cork, Ireland. He’s a regular conference speaker, an active member of the online testing community and co-founder of Ministry of Test Cork.

Previously he has held positions as Test Manager, Automation Architect and Test Engineer with companies of varying sizes, from large multinationals like Intel, Ericsson & EMC to early-stage startups like Trustev. He has worked in diverse areas from highly regulated industries like safety automation & fraud detection to dynamic, exciting industries like gaming.

TALK: Observability: Unlearn guessing, reduce stressing and learn to embrace reality

Session level: intermediate

For the last 5 years, I’ve been lucky enough to work on bleeding edge software initiatives using things like microservices, containerisation, cloud-based platforms & CICD to deliver more value more quickly to our customers.

This exciting new world presents an entirely new set of risks & challenges requiring the whole team to engage in designing systems with operability, resiliency & observability from the start.

We as testers need to unlearn our old ideas about testing & learn to accept that we can’t predict system behaviour & that failure is inevitable.

In the face of this reality, we need to focus not just on prevention but increasingly on detection & recovery so that our teams can move quickly & safely with justifiable confidence.

In this session, I’ll talk about my observability journey, the lessons I’ve learned & the techniques I’ve used to help development teams embrace reality and build observability into both their software systems and their way of working.


  • Modern software systems are constantly changing, complex systems that require a whole new approach based on observability.
  • We need to design our systems with observability from the start and balance our testing efforts across prevention, detection and recovery.
  • It’s futile to try to anticipate all issues, instead we need to be able to quickly detect, isolate and remediate issues with minimal user impact.