Beyond Incident Response

What we do

We’re sense-makers and crisis-averters.

Layer Aleph restores and rearchitects complex software systems. If your business is suffering an outage, working through a transition — or existing somewhere in between — we can help. We can work with your team quickly and quietly to find a secure path forward. We offer a range of technology discovery and transformation services. Most importantly, we offer you straightforward answers and fixes to complex technical problems.

Undisclosed location, Tajikistan

The team

We’ve navigated the world’s most complex software infrastructures.

Layer Aleph’s team has wide-ranging experience in system rescue and service restoration. We’ve worked extensively with systems as large as Google and as complex as 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.

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

Matthew Weaver helps leaders solve both urgent and long-term strategic problems. While many of his recent engagements have been confidential, he was recognized by Fast Company for his role in building the first Digital Service team for the U.S. government after rescuing Healthcare.gov. At USDS, he led successful technical interventions across 11 federal agencies, with budgets ranging from $100 million to $1.2 trillion. In a previous role, weaver provided long-term strategy support to leadership at Devoted Health, a health care startup serving older Americans with a next generation health plan. He also spent several years at Fastly, where he improved the safety, performance, and resilience of the infrastructure – enabling them to handle the 800+ billion network requests they receive each day. Before his work in the public sector, weaver spent 9 years at Google, where he helped establish the site reliability engineering (SRE) discipline. These principles and practices are now widely used across modern technology companies to build ultra-scalable and reliable software systems. In his spare time, weaver enjoys taking things apart, understanding how they work, and fixing them.

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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. Her work spans Google and multiple federal agencies with the United States Digital Services. Most recently, Carla led a team at Fastly to fix systemic resilience problems. Her team’s work addressed a widespread outage, retained customers, and dramatically improved recovery time of core caching systems. During her 12-year tenure at Google, she was responsible for keeping hundreds of petabytes of data safe and accessible. She also helped establish site reliability engineering (SRE) principles that are still used by Google and most modern tech companies. 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. During the 2014 to 2015 open enrollment season, Carla led the operations for Healthcare.gov. There, she diagnosed failures at all layers of the system, from the Linux kernel to the White House Office of General Counsel. She also worked with the Defense Digital Service to introduce DevOps on the next-generation GPS ground control system (OCX). Carla’s specialties are designing resilient systems, increasing scalability, distributing data storage, and finding the simplest path through a mess.

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Mikey Dickerson
Founder,
US Digital Service

Mikey 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, Mikey served as one of the earliest Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) at Google. There, he spent 8 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. Most recently, Mikey and the Layer Aleph team helped solve California’s unemployment claim crisis. Within 45 days of their engagement, claim automation increased from 60% to more than 94%.

close bio
Marina Nitze
Former CTO,
US Veterans Affairs

Marina’s specialty is solving big, painful problems that others would rather avoid — particularly those that involve a backlog. As the former CTO of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Marina and her team drastically improved veterans’ access to care and services. Her teams’ effort helped increase veteran trust in the agency by 25%. Marina has been at the forefront of multiple hundred-million-dollar IT rescue and transformation projects. These efforts often went beyond restoration and propelled agencies into the future with processes like instant claims. Most recently, Marina and her team at Layer Aleph helped Governor Newsom solve California’s unemployment claim crisis as part of a “Strike Team.” Within 45 days of their involvement, claim automation increased from 60% to more than 94%. Prior roles and engagements include being the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Department of Education; the owner of the business process re-engineering firm, The Type-A Way; and author of the books “Business Efficiency for Dummies” and “Hack Your Bureaucracy.” As a current fellow at New America, Marina also spends much of her time working with practitioners across the country to assess and modernize the U.S. foster care system.

How we work

We steer businesses out from chaos.

We can work with all levels of your team — from executives to hands-on engineers to customer support staff — to identify critical vulnerabilities and opportunities. Our analysis is thorough, but our timelines are short. Our main priority is to get you back on track and in business as quickly as possible. We can help you:

  • Work through outages and security incidents
  • Manage capacity and performance during unexpected demand
  • Find lost or mangled data in a business workflow
  • Build agility back into legacy systems that can’t be easily updated
  • Make strategic decisions through due diligence and risk analysis
  • Restore confidence through diagnosis and communication

We require high-level executive support in order to successfully resolve incidents.

On a project

"
Working with the Layer Aleph team was amazing. Due to their deep technical breadth and experience, they were able to quickly integrate with the teams, assess our platforms and challenges, suggest recommendations, and assist with implementations over a few weeks. I highly recommend having the team on speed dial.

- Chief Digital Officer, Major Healthcare Company

"
Layer Aleph’s team has been broadly competent, effective, and discreet in several different domains across many engagements. I regularly look to them for help with ambiguous, complex, and urgent problems at any scale.

- Former State CIO

"
Many times in my career, knowing the right call to make for help has been the difference between a successful outcome and a failure. Layer Aleph is the right call to make. Our engagement with them was incredibly efficient and impactful. More importantly, though, they had the ability to quickly take in our situation and identify where their attention and ours could most profitably be spent. I went from having a series of sleepless nights to feeling that we had the situation in hand and our needs covered. That they were able to do this balancing the needs of the business and the team, and leaving everyone with both an improved situation and morale, was incredible. I will call them again without hesitation in times of need.

- Marc Hedlund, VP Engineering

Reports

Anonymous Phones

Monsters are Real