The Ups and Downs of Rolling Your Own

by Lilly Ryan

Lilly Ryan

History is full of innovative designs that seemed well ahead of their time: Leonardo da Vinci's helicopter, the Cooper Union elevator shaft, the iPhone.

The Cannonball Loop, a waterslide designed by the team at Action Park, New Jersey, in 1983, was intended to take its place in this invention hall of fame: a 60ft-high enclosed waterside featuring a full 360° loop in the middle. Envisaged as a ride that would be the envy of theme parks everywhere, in reality, the Cannonball Loop became an iconic and expensive monument to the notoriously dangerous theme park's history.

The conception and construction of the Cannonball Loop, and other rides like it across the world, can teach us a lot about the pitfalls of winging it on high profile projects, but not all dreams have to end with missing teeth, broken bones, and bankruptcy.

Strap yourselves in and keep all limbs inside the vehicle while security specialist Lilly Ryan takes you on a ride through some of history's most ill-fated project ideas, and shows you how your team can avoid the same mistakes on the road to your own ambitions.


Lilly Ryan

Lead Security Specialist, Thoughtworks

Lilly Ryan is a Lead Security Specialist on the Regional InfoSec team at Thoughtworks. She has many years of experience in the information security industry, and re-joined Thoughtworks after three years working as a penetration tester for an external security consultancy.

Lilly also serves on the board of Digital Rights Watch, an Australian digital rights organisation. She specialises in web application security, privacy education, and the history of technology-related issues.

You can catch her talking security on the OWASP DevSlop Show or occasionally having opinions on Byte Into IT on Melbourne radio station 3RRR.