Software Incident Response
The Team
We’ve worked with the largest software infrastructure on the planet and within the most byzantine organizations.

Layer Aleph’s team has wide-ranging experience in system rescue and service restoration. We’ve worked with everyone from Google to the U.S. Government.

We’ve been on the ground fixing systems that ended up in the news, like healthcare.gov and Veterans Health Record processing. More importantly, we’ve been behind the scenes on numerous security incidents and infrastructure disasters that stayed under the radar.

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Matthew Weaver
Former US Digital Service,
Rogue Leader
Carla Geisser
Former SRE lead,
Google + US Digital Service
Mikey Dickerson
Founder,
US Digital Service
Marina (Martin) Nitze
Former CTO,
US Veterans Affairs
Matthew Weaver
Former US Digital Service,
Rogue Leader

Matthew has spent his entire life taking things apart, understanding how they work, and fixing them. His professional history includes networking small communities in the Rocky Mountains, along with being the lead responsible for operating Google web search worldwide (millions of machines, hundreds of megawatts, and an entire serving software stack) during a nine year career there. His work at Google established the site reliability engineering discipline now adopted by modern technology companies for their production operations.
He left Google to help rescue healthcare.gov after its disastrous launch in 2013. Later, as a Rogue Leader in the US Digital Service, he helped establish and build the first in-agency digital service team, at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Most recently, he’s run a rapid response team for USDS (including with the DoD’s Defense Digital Service), addressing emergent technical problems on more than twenty troubled programs across ten federal agencies with budgets ranging from $100 million to $1.2 trillion.

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Carla Geisser
Former SRE lead,
Google + US Digital Service

Carla likes debugging complex systems, especially those made of both software and humans. She worked for 12 years at Google, where she was the Site Reliability Lead for storage systems. During her tenure at Google, she was responsible for the integrity and reliability of 100s of Petabytes of data, including most of the world’s email and cat videos (the most serious of responsibilities!). Along the way, she quietly swapped out major system components and managed several incidents that didn’t end up on the front page of the newspaper.
Carla worked with the U.S. Digital Service as the operations lead for healthcare.gov during the 2014-2015 open enrollment season. There, she diagnosed failures at all layers of the system, from the Linux kernel to the White House Office of General Counsel. She recently worked with the Defense Digital Service to introduce DevOps on the next-generation GPS ground control system (OCX).

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Mikey Dickerson
Founder,
US Digital Service

Mikey Dickerson helped lead the healthcare.gov rescue, for which he was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. Afterwards, President Obama appointed him Deputy Chief Information Officer of the United States. Part of this involved Mikey being charged with establishing the United States Digital Service (USDS) to bring America’s top technologists into government and solve its hardest and most-pressing IT challenges.
In addition to recruiting hundreds of developers and designers to join the federal government for tours of duty, he has led the successful transformation of a major, multi-million dollar IT project at nearly every federal agency.
Prior to USDS, Mr. Dickerson served as one of the earliest Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) at Google. There, he spent eight years growing and managing a team of SREs – the kind of engineer responsible for ensuring one of the world’s most ubiquitous websites is safe and functioning, 24/7/365.

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Marina (Martin) Nitze
Former CTO,
US Veterans Affairs

Marina’s specialty is solving big, painful problems that others would rather avoid. Her professional career began as a business efficiency consultant, during which she worked with struggling businesses to turn around profits and improve efficiency by adopting modern technologies. This led to more middle-of-the-night As/400 rescues than she cares to remember, along with the establishment of her business process re-engineering firm, The Type-A Way, and the book “Business Efficiency for Dummies.”
After a stint as the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Department of Education, Marina joined the White House for six months to lead the turnaround of data.gov. She was subsequently appointed as the CTO of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the largest civilian agency, with a $4.6 billion IT budget. During her tenure there, she helped establish the first agency Digital Service team, bringing in America’s top technical talent for tours of duty within the agency to transform how America serves and honors its veterans.
Marina’s scope of work at the VA included multiple hundred-million-dollar IT rescue and transformation projects. During those rescues, her team didn’t just restore mission-critical legacy systems to life, but also leap-frogged the agency into the future by introducing instant claims and benefits processing systems.

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On a project
What We Do
If your business is suffering an outage or inability to make changes safely, we want to help.

Layer Aleph restores complex software systems to service. If your business is suffering an outage or inability to make changes safely, we want to help.

We will embed with your organization, learn your systems, and implement the fastest path to get them working again. Once your business is stable we will leave you with guidance on preventing a similar crisis from happening again.

On a project
How We Work
We produce systems that are up instead of down.

We work on extremely short timelines to provide intense focus on the most critical issue for your business. We produce systems that are up instead of down and teams that are able to safely change production systems.

We can produce a documented assessment if needed, but that is secondary to getting you back in business.

For us to be successful, we need to enter with high-level executive support for resolving the incident.

  • Managing capacity and performance during unexpected demand
  • Working through outages of any kind
  • Safely restoring service after a security incident
  • Finding lost or mangled data in a business workflow
  • Building agility back into systems that can’t be changed
  • Restoring confidence through diagnosis and communication
Reports