Surprisingly enough, academic papers can be interesting and very relevant to the work we do in industry as practitioners. To give just one example, distributed systems has been an active area of research since the 1980s, and many of the problems we face today in our industry have already had solutions proposed and have inspired new research. Ines Sombra and Caitie McCaffrey demonstrate how academic papers can radically change your perspective and introduce you to new ideas, offering a tour of papers that have reshaped the way they think about building large-scale distributed systems.
Ines Sombra is director of engineering at Fastly, where she spends her time helping the web go faster. Ines holds an MS in computology with an emphasis on cheesy ’80s rock ballads. She has a fondness for steak, fernet, and a pug named Gordo. In a previous life, she was a data engineer.
Caitie McCaffrey is a backend brat and distributed systems diva. She’s currently the architect and developer manager of the Azure Sphere Security Services. She’s been with the Azure Sphere project since its early days in Microsoft Research and has had the great privilege of building out the services and the team to help secure the IoT. Caitie has spent her career building large-scale services and systems at Twitter, 343 Industries, Microsoft Game Studios, and HBO. She has credits on several video games, including Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, Halo 4, and Halo 5.
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