Engineering the Future of Software
Feb 25–26, 2018: Training
Feb 26–28, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

How Shutterstock built a component-based 12-factor application

Marty Brodbeck (Shutterstock)
4:50pm–5:40pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Secondary topics:  Best Practice, Framework-focused
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 2 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • CIOs, CTOs, software architects, tech leads, and senior developers and engineers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of tech architecture and programming

What you'll learn

  • Learn how Shutterstock implemented a 12-factor application and in the process embedded a culture of collaboration to drive success


In an effort to consolidate and modernize the company’s technology stack, Shutterstock recently embarked on a technology overhaul, which also led to organizational and cultural change. Marty Brodbeck shares some of the decisions Shutterstock made and the challenges it faced during this huge transformation, along with key principles that drove and guided the shift.

Shutterstock moved to an Agile development process and a methodology known as the 12-factor application, which facilitates the use of containers. 12-factor is not new, and some would consider it an industry standard. It allows for code to be containerized and scaled across any cloud infrastructure, making great use of APIs. Moving to a 12-factor application is beneficial for a number of reasons. It allows for maximum portability between environments. It’s suitable for deployment on modern cloud platforms such as AWS and Google Azure, and it’s capable of scaling both up and down. It also minimizes time and cost associated with automation and enables continuous deployment and delivery.

This shift was essential for the growing company to enable content availability across the world, allowing flexibility and scalability across platforms. In applying this model, Shutterstock has implemented architecture reviews to ensure all applications are modeled after a certain set of criteria. This process ensures that what’s being developed will operate the right way and the leverage of scale and usability will be consistent across the environment.

Photo of Marty Brodbeck

Marty Brodbeck


Marty Brodbeck is chief technology officer at Shutterstock, where he manages the technology organization, partnering with the product and marketing teams to drive development and implementation of products that solve customers’ problems. Marty has over 20 years experience delivering solutions at scale and has a strong track record leading companies through cloud, big data, and product engineering transformations and aligning business strategies with technology solutions to deliver revenue and increase productivity. Previously, he was CTO at companies including Pearson, Pfizer, and Diageo. Marty holds a BA from the University of Richmond and an MS from the Stevens Institute of Technology.