Building a Better Web
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Full stack in a stackless world

Thomas Bouldin (Google), Sarah Allen (Google)
9:50am–10:30am Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Architecture and microservices
Location: 212 A/B Level: Intermediate
Secondary topics:  Developer Experience Track: Tools, Platforms, and Techniques, High-level, Technical

Who is this presentation for?

full stack developer (or any developer)

Prerequisite knowledge

Some comfort discussing backend architecture, though would likely be approachable for any programmer

What you'll learn

- Serverless concepts and development patterns - Strategies to improve development velocity and reliability by adopting modern backend design


Software applications today commonly integrate multiple back-end services. Increasingly consumers and business customers alike have high expectations for integrated data experiences. They expect to use a login they already have (SSO or social login) that pulls in relevant data from connected systems and displays it in a personally relevant way.

Behind the scenes, back-end systems create data models that consume data which needs to be distilled into a form that humans can reason about or simply kept up to date when changes happen in other systems. Most modern apps integrate with many different third party APIs and rely on them for core functionality.

Traditionally a “full stack” developer implements a three-tiered stack of front-end, compute, and storage. We’ll be talking about how to use server-side events to combine APIs and “serverless” compute in a way that makes scaling a bit easier, and requires developers to think differently about architecture. On the front-end it is similar; however, server-side events allow developers to put their compute logic after the API call — so the compute is no longer the middle tier, hence the idea this is “stackless”

Photo of Thomas Bouldin

Thomas Bouldin


Thomas is the Tech Lead for Google events. Previously, he led the Cloud Functions for Firebase team, contributed to the Firebase Realtime Database and Firebase SDKs. Thomas has been developing serverless platforms since before the term was popularized. He was an early employee at Parse and built their client & server-side push notifications infrastructure. He also worked on Google Image Search infrastructure and Microsoft Windows. Thomas Earned his bachelor’s degree in software engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a focus on computer graphics and operating systems & security.

Photo of Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen


Sarah Allen created early web platforms with Shockwave and Flash Media Server. She led the mobile development company, Blazing Cloud, developing many native mobile and web apps. She now works on serverless infrastructure at Google. Sarah believes that software should be seriously fun, and that there is magic is in making powerful tools that spark imagination and challenge us all to keep learning and inventing.

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