Building and maintaining complex distributed systems
June 19–20, 2017: Training
June 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

The verification of a distributed system

Caitie McCaffrey (Twitter)
3:40pm–4:20pm Thursday, June 22, 2017
Distributed Systems
Location: 230 B
Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.75, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Engineers and architects

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A general understanding of distributed systems

What you'll learn

  • Learn strategies for proving a distributed system is correct


Distributed systems are difficult to build and test for two main reasons: partial failure and asynchrony. These two realities of distributed systems must be addressed to create a correct system, and oftentimes the resulting systems have a high degree of complexity. Because of this complexity, testing and verifying these systems is critically important.

Caitie McCaffrey shares strategies for proving a system is correct, including both formal methods and more practical forms of testing, such as fault injection and property-based testing, ensuring you are confidant that your systems are doing the right thing.

Photo of Caitie McCaffrey

Caitie McCaffrey


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 and frequently discusses technology on Twitter.