Monday Oct 2
14:50 –

Tales from inside the crater - an exploration of modern services and system architectures


We often hear about the virtues of modern system architecture models. Microservices, serverless, and reactive design are sold as solutions that mostly benefit the system engineer. Missionaries and zealots tour the world, telling us about a newfound solution which works like a magic silver bullet. We are told they improve everything tenfold. Reality is different. Whenever you engage in a solution, you are making trade-offs which does simplify some points. But akin to a phase-shift, other parts of the system might become much harder to do well. Distribution is not always easier. Reliability is not necessarily better. Scalability is not always needed. This talk is the antidote to the snake-oil you were being sold.

Taking outset from my own experience as an Erlang programmer, we will uncover some of the negatives of modern system design. Perhaps many of the new ideas are but simple rehashes of older solutions. There are traps, and pitfalls. Some of these are technical, but many of them are social, in the sense they affect the dynamic of human nature. The goal of the talk is to give a critical take on modern architecture design and explain why one has to be cautious. We will attempt to give counter-balance and explain what ideas work, and what ideas needs caution. Where applicable, we will draw from other peoples mistakes and experiences as well.

In short, we will put the emperor in the limelight and decide if he has clothes or not.

programming languages
reactive programming
software design
software architecture