O'Reilly Software Architecture Conference: My ping from London

I attented the conference this October in London and I'm sharing my two cents here.

I attended O’Reilly’s Software Architecture Conference in London this October and I thought I’d share my personal wrap-up of the most striking talks I’ve heard there. So buckle up for a tiny race through three days of talks and workshops:

sarahjwells from Financial Times gave a great advice on how to fight code rot in your microservice architecture: Consider building overnight to fight code rot and keep services live and healthy. This is great advice since there may be services in your environment that you’ll probably won’t touch for a few months and if you don’t constantly keep them building some developer having to fix a bug in one service will have a hard time fixing outdated dependencies and stuff first.

I especially enjoyed lizrice’s keynote on container security: Scan your container images for security vulnerabilities and consider using seccomp in your containers.

crichardson simply stated: Microservices shall not be the goal, that’s an anti-pattern. Yeah, for those of you who didn’t grasp that, already, probably.

I also attended allenholub’s talk on choreographing microservices (in contrast to orchestrating them). Especially enjoyable was his opinion on delivery: I deploy the most simple implementation and if nobody complains I’m done. So true on so many levels, especially in an enterprise environment where I work.

nikhilbarthwal shed some light on real-world FaaS. My insight from his talk: FaaS instances are auto-scaled but your DB probably isn’t. As I followed the Twitter stream, though, his opinions very passionately discussed and disputed. I liked his balanced plea for a hybrid world of FaaS and “old-school” microservices.

stilkov presented the most common software architect’s types; the one that sticked to me most is the Disillusioned Architect that abstracts everything away. Stefan pointed to the term ‘Architecture Astronauts’ coined by Joel Spolsky.

mikebroberts’ keynote was especially enlightening when he talk about the four levels of adopting serverless:

  1. Serverless operations (env. reporting, Lambda as shell scripts, Slack bots, deployment automation)

  2. Cron jobs, Serverless offline tasks

  3. Serverless activities (message processing, isolated microservices)

  4. Serverless ecosystems (websites, web applications, serverless data pipelines)

Really great!

Less technical career advice for architects was given by JetBrains’ trisha_gee: Everyone is an architect these days, ask questions and then LISTEN to the answers, be open to change your mind, do pair programming not only with developers but probably with a business analyst, answer Stack Overflow questions. The last one is… so… great. Lay aside some time for your team to constantly be active on Stack Overflow and it will change your attitude towards people and technologies and you will learn A LOT!

Pivotal’s cdavisafc talked about getting rid of the request-response paradigm in your software architecture. The punch line: There’s a major difference between old-style messaging (aka ESB) and event logs like Kafka (e.g. no queues, event log as single source of truth, loosely coupled data): The former is anti-agile while the latter is agile.

Thanks, O’Reilly for getting all those people (and me) to London. Perhaps we’ll see again next year.