Fueling innovative software
July 15-18, 2019
Portland, OR

Break me if you can: A practical guide to building fault-tolerant systems

Alex Borysov (Netflix), Mykyta Protsenko (Netflix)
2:35pm3:15pm Thursday, July 18, 2019
The Next Architecture
Location: Portland 255
Secondary topics:  Cloud Native
Average rating: ****.
(4.97, 39 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Software engineers, technical leads, and software architects




You built your system, you deployed it, you rolled it up in production, but it’s just the beginning. The life of your system just started. It will grow, evolve, and wake you up in the middle of the night. Usually, at this point you start thinking about fault tolerance and error handling. Fault-tolerance concepts sound simple: modern frameworks promise to effortlessly solve it for you.

But what’s hiding behind the simplicity? Alex Borysov and Mykyta Protsenko take you along for a sneak peak at how to design and build truly fault-tolerant Java systems. They make it real by trying failure scenarios against a live system (you’ll watch it recover in real time) and then review the recipes (with gRPC and REST examples and a number of open source tools) that you can use right away to make your code more resilient and your system more robust.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of microservice architecture

What you'll learn

  • Learn practical recipes (code and design patterns) to build fault-tolerant, scalable systems using open source tools
  • Understand the role of product decisions in building fault-tolerant software and the importance of a proper communication culture
Photo of Alex Borysov

Alex Borysov


Alex Borysov is a senior software engineer at Netflix. He is a clean coder and a test-driven developer with solid experience in building and running world-scale software systems. During his career Alex developed and ran machine learning infrastructure for payments fraud detection at Google, large-scale backends at Nest, microservice architecture for world-leading social casino games, and core infrastructure services for a unicorn startup in Silicon Valley with more than 300 million users.

Photo of Mykyta Protsenko

Mykyta Protsenko


Mykyta Protsenko is a senior software engineer at Netflix. Mykyta is passionate about all things scalable, from coding to deploying to monitoring. He has solid experience building high-performance backends for a variety of applications at leading Silicon Valley companies, including top-rated social mobile games and billing platforms. Mykyta is the author of Henka, a Gradle plug-in for Terraform. You can find him speaking at conferences such as Devoxx Belgium/Ukraine/UK, JavaDay Kyiv, and others.