Richard Crowley

Engineer and engineering leader.  Recovering manager.  On-call more often than not.  Speaker, mentor, and advisor.

Articles and talks

2018 · 2017 · 2016 · 2015 · 2014 · 2013 · 2012 · 2011 · 2010 · 2009 · 2008 · 2007

I took a pretty long break from public speaking while I was managing Slack’s Service Engineering team.  Now I am back to speaking about operational tooling, distributed systems, and the realities of production at scale.


I hoard links at Pinboard.

Much less frequently, I tweet as @rcrowley.


Matt Tanase and I founded DevStructure in 2010 and tried until 2012 to reduce the distance between development and production with the Blueprint configuration management tool.  It was not a commercial success however I still believe the problems we set out to solve then remain unsolved and I am still pursuing solutions.

I served as advisor to Opsmatic, which was eventually acquired and became New Relic Infrastructure, and am currently advising Smallstep.  I like to work with founders and early employees to make their technology the best it can be and to bring it reliably to the most customers possible.


Danville, Kentucky → Washington University in Saint Louis → San Francisco.  Flickr, OpenDNS, DevStructure, Square, and Betable engineering alumnus.  While I’m trained as a hardware engineer I’ve made my career on the Internet where I’ve gravitated towards operations and infrastructure and been repelled by browsers, HTML, and CSS.  Despite that, I do know JavaScript.

At present, I am the Operations Architect at Slack.  I tolerate computers, like bicycles, am not a very good open-source maintainer, and live in San Francisco with my wife and kids.

I can always be reached at and am passably good at responding in a timely fashion.  My public key is on and Keybase.