All Software Architecture, All the Time
June 10-13, 2019
San Jose, CA
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Surviving in a microservices environment

Stephen Pember (Toast)
9:00am–10:30am Thursday, June 13, 2019
Secondary topics:  Best Practice, Overview
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 14 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Senior engineers, architects, and team leads



Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of the microservice or distributed systems concepts
  • General experience building web applications

What you'll learn

  • Learn real-life lessons from designing and implementing microservice architectures over several years
  • Create a checklist of items to ensure success within your organization
  • Hear advice on how to proceed in various microservice-related scenarios


Many presentations on microservices offer a high-level view of the architecture; rarely do you hear what it’s like to work in such an environment. Individual services are somewhat trivial to develop, but now you suddenly have countless others to track. You’ll become obsessed over how they communicate. You’ll have to start referring to the whole thing as “the Platform.” You’ll have to take on some considerable DevOps work and start learning about deployment pipelines, metrics, and logging.

Don’t panic.

Stephen Pember shares what he’s learned over the past six years migrating from a monolith to microservices across several companies. He examines what a development lifecycle might look like for adding a new service, developing a feature, or fixing bugs. You’ll see how team communication is more important than one might realize, as coordinating on architecture designs and implementation is crucial. Most importantly, he’ll show how—while an individual service is simple—the infrastructure demands are now much more more complicated: your organization will need to introduce and become increasingly dependent on various technologies, procedures, and tools ranging from the ELK stack to Grafana to Kubernetes. You’ll leave understanding why your resident SREs should be the most valued members of your team.

Photo of Stephen Pember

Stephen Pember


Steve Pember is a principal engineer and team lead at Toast, a creator of systems and point of sale devices for managing restaurants. Previously, he was a director of engineering, a CTO, and a principal consultant, all the while pushing for and building reactive, event-driven, microservices-based platforms. Steve is obsessed with highly scalable distributed systems, software architecture, and alternative data storage techniques like event sourcing, and he loves telling the world about them.