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 at Twitter. Previously, Caitie spent the majority of her career at 343 Industries, Microsoft Game Studios, and HBO building the large-scale services and systems that power the entertainment industry. Caitie has a degree in computer science from Cornell University and has worked on several video games including Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, Halo 4, and Halo 5. She maintains a blog at CaitieM.com and frequently discusses technology on Twitter.
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