4–7 Nov 2019
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How I learned to love the rebuild: How to know when to reinvest in your systems

Rob Zuber (CircleCI)
11:0011:45 Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Location: M4/M5
Secondary topics:  Best Practice
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Systems and site reliability engineers, systems architects, application developers, DevOps practitioners, teams engaged in operations, infrastructure, and cloud ecosystems, and CTOs and CIOs seeking to streamline operations




There’s a saying about perfectly architected systems: we’ve never heard of them because those companies never get off the ground. When you first get going, the only thing you should focus on is finding product-market fit. Picking the stack that works right now, fast, is the right choice. Yet once you reach critical mass, waiting too long to rearchitect can torpedo your reliability and ability to grow. So how do you know when it’s time to pause and reinvest in your systems? What are the signs that it’s time to break things apart? Knowing what this transition looks like, and accepting that every company that has velocity will eventually get here, will help you understand that retooling your system is a sign of success, not of failure.

Rob Zuber outlines how to pick your “Goldilocks moment” to update your systems: not too early and not too late. He’ll also share some critical moments at CircleCI and how Docker, Go, Kubernetes, and other tools replaced simpler initial systems to allow CircleCI to hit massive scale.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of systems engineering and architecture
  • Familiarity with Docker, Go, Kubernetes, and other tools

What you'll learn

  • Discover how to pick your "Goldilocks moment" when updating your systems
  • Learn about some critical moments at CircleCI and how Docker, Go, Kubernetes, and other tools replaced simpler initial systems
Photo of Rob Zuber

Rob Zuber


Rob Zuber is the chief technology officer of CircleCI, a 20-year veteran of software startups, a four-time founder, and a three-time CTO. Rob has seen CircleCI through its series B and series C and delivered on product innovation at scale. Rob leads a team of 100+ engineers who are distributed around the globe. Previously, Rob was a cofounder and CTO of Distiller, a continuous integration and deployment platform for mobile applications that was acquired by CircleCI; a cofounder of Copious, an online social marketplace; and a cofounder and CTO of Yoohoot, a technology company that enabled local businesses to connect with nearby consumers that was acquired by Appconomy. Rob earned a bachelor’s degree in applied science from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and two children.

  • AXA
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  • HERE Technologies
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  • GitLab
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  • WhiteSource
  • Cloud Native Computing Foundation

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