Build & maintain complex distributed systems
17–18 October 2017: Training
18–20 October 2017: Tutorials & Conference
London, UK

Sessions

Thursday, 19 October

11:2012:00 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Harry Winser (Rightmove)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 5 ratings)
Harry Winser explains how to leverage consumer-driven contracts to achieve fully independent releases of microservices across teams and how to handle a service rollback while still serving over 47 million requests a day. Harry also demonstrates how to use the Pact framework to continuously deliver services that depend on one another and Docker to make developer testing easier. Read more.
11:2012:00 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Average rating: ****.
(4.29, 7 ratings)
The popularity of Git and GitHub has led to an explosion in the number of software repositories. But is creating a new repository always the right approach? Gareth Rushgrove offers an overview of the monorepo—putting all your product's or organization's code in a single repository—covering the advantages of monorepos and the tools to help maintain them. Read more.
11:2012:00 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Max Neunhöffer (ArangoDB)
Average rating: ****.
(4.17, 6 ratings)
What we see in the modern data store world is a race between different approaches to achieve distributed and resilient storage. The IoT, genomics, and applications for other fields also raise the demand for a stateful layer. Max Neunhöffer walks you through the components and the inner workings of modern open source databases like ArangoDB, Cassandra, Cockroach, and RethinkDB. Read more.
11:2012:00 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Rick Fast (Expedia)
Average rating: ****.
(4.12, 8 ratings)
As Expedia refactors its backend services into a finer-grained microservice architecture, frontend applications have begun to be split into smaller applications serving a small number of pages or content on the website. Rick Fast details how Expedia is creating an extremely configurable, self-service edge architecture for routing between frontend applications and managing bot traffic. Read more.
11:2012:00 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Park Suite
Eric Sigler (PagerDuty)
Average rating: ****.
(4.75, 12 ratings)
Eric Sigler shares data collected and patterns observed in postmortems across a large number of infrastructure operating organizations, covering specific trends and groupings of various types of postmortem practices, follow-on actions, and related behavior. Read more.
11:2012:00 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Windsor Suite
Mike Strickland (Intel Corporation)
Microsoft has widely deployed field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for accelerating search, networking, and machine learning—with a little help from Intel's software expertise and its FPGA programmers. Mike Strickland explains how a single FPGA can deliver significant acceleration for multiple workloads. Read more.
13:1513:55 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Liz Rice (Aqua Security)
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 8 ratings)
In a containerized deployment, how do you safely pass secrets like passwords and certificates between containers without compromising their safety? If orchestration means a container can run on any machine in the cluster, how do you minimize who knows your secrets? Liz Rice explores the risks and shares best practices for keeping your secrets safe. Read more.
13:1513:55 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Janna Brummel (ING Netherlands), Robin van Zijll (ING Netherlands)
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 9 ratings)
Did you read the O’Reilly book about Google SREs but doubt that SRE will work for your more traditional or more regulated company? Janna Brummel and Robin van Zijll explain how they implemented SRE in a global financial organization, providing an overview of methods and technologies and sharing lessons learned from a year of doing SRE. Read more.
13:1513:55 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Uwe Friedrichsen (codecentric AG)
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)
Uwe Friedrichsen explores the challenges, options, and trade-offs of different consistency models in distributed system landscapes, covering the limitations of ACID transactions, eventual consistency, and current research that tries to fill the gaps between ACID and BASE transactions. Read more.
13:1513:55 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Baron Schwartz (VividCortex)
Average rating: ****.
(4.90, 10 ratings)
Distributed systems used to be the exception, but today they're the norm, so it's more useful than ever to be able to quantify scalability. Baron Schwartz explains how to use the Universal Scalability Law to characterize how your systems truly behave, why they don't scale like they should, and how to improve them. It's a simple, elegant solution, and, although formal, it requires no math. Read more.
13:1513:55 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Park Suite
Chris Jackson (Pearson)
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 4 ratings)
Chris Jackson explains how 175-year-old company Pearson built a tech startup within the enterprise with the aim of innovating the developer experience. Chris shares the journey from inception to B-round funding and explains how this startup is establishing the foundation of the company's future. Read more.
14:1014:50 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Matthew Skelton (Skelton Thatcher Consulting)
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 6 ratings)
Matthew Skelton shares five practical, tried-and-tested techniques for improving operability with many kinds of software systems, including the cloud, serverless, on-premises, and the IoT. Read more.
14:1014:50 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Hannah Foxwell (Pivotal)
Average rating: **...
(2.65, 17 ratings)
Machine learning is the new big data. Everyone is supposed to be on board, but do we understand why? As platforms become more complex and change more frequently than ever before, it's time we stopped trying to maintain them manually. Hannah Foxwell explores the technology and real use cases for machine learning in infrastructure operations and SRE. Read more.
14:1014:50 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Colin Charles (Percona)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)
Databases require capacity planning. (To those coming from traditional RDBMS solutions, this can be thought of as a sizing guide.) Capacity planning prevents resource exhaustion, but it can be hard. Colin Charles explores storage capacity planning for OLTP and data warehousing uses. Read more.
14:1014:50 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Andrew Betts (Fastly)
Most people working with CDN caches know about the Vary header, but few properly understand what it really does. And with the advent of the Key header, new patterns for varying cache content will emerge. Andrew Betts shares common and advanced use cases for Vary, such as language, A/B testing, compression, and service worker support, and outlines potential changes to consider when Key arrives. Read more.
14:1014:50 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Park Suite
Daniel Young (EngineerBetter), Emma Jane Westby (UN-OCHA)
Average rating: ****.
(4.20, 5 ratings)
Software development is a social activity that favors direct human contact, yet 21st century life can often get in the way, forcing us to reconsider our communication patterns. Daniel Young and Emma Jane Hogbin Westby explore how to build and maintain happy productive teams, regardless of geography. Read more.
15:4016:20 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 7 ratings)
Welcome to the world of nanoservices: smaller than a microservice, bigger than a function, they are the perfect unit of software. Nanoservices are flexible, manageable, and scalable and a great way to do serverless computing. Matthew Clark explains how to get nanoservices right, drawing on his experience at the BBC, which now has over a thousand in production. Read more.
15:4016:20 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Jurgen Cito (University of Zurich)
Average rating: ***..
(3.70, 10 ratings)
Can we make developers care about operations? Jürgen Cito shares real-world experience of developers struggling with operations and details a journey to incorporate runtime performance aspects into the developer's daily workflow and reduce performance problems reaching production. Read more.
15:4016:20 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Average rating: **...
(2.25, 4 ratings)
Does it matter if this message doesn't get delivered or gets delivered more than once? What about if the system keeps trying to deliver a message that will always fail or if a failure occurred earlier but now those messages can be safely handled? Lorna Mitchell details how to approach different failure scenarios, drawing on examples involving RabbitMQ. Read more.
15:4016:20 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 6 ratings)
DDoS mitigation is an ever-evolving art. Architectures change, attackers get more creative, and keeping your team and tools ahead of the curve is a constant battle. So why not make DDoS preparedness fun as well as practical? Shannon Weyrick explains why you should use DDoS war games to keep your team’s skillset polished, their tools in top shape, and their spirits and confidence high. Read more.
15:4016:20 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Park Suite
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 2 ratings)
Last year, Mindaugas Mozūras's company was in dire straits. Its strategy was not working. All the key metrics were drifting downward. People left. The company even did a reorg. During this time, he had many last conversations—sometimes trying to stop people from leaving, other times to let them go. Mindaugas relates three such conversations, sharing lessons on honesty and delivering bad news. Read more.
16:3517:15 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Ben Hall (Katacoda | Ocelot Uproar)
Average rating: ****.
(4.83, 6 ratings)
Docker offers many advantages, simplifying both development and production environments. But there is still uncertainty around the security of containers. Ben Hall answers the question, How secure are Docker containers?, exploring Docker's security model, its limitations, and how to handle them. Read more.
16:3517:15 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Nicole Forsgren (GitHub), Nigel Kersten (Puppet)
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)
The State of DevOps Report has shown that high-performing IT teams decisively outperform low-performing peers (with greater throughput and stability), creating value that shows up on the bottom line. Nicole Forsgren and Nigel Kersten share insights into the key leadership, technical, architectural, and product capabilities that drive these outcomes. Read more.
16:3517:15 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Peter Bourgon (Fastly), Sean Braithwaite (Independent)
Average rating: **...
(2.79, 14 ratings)
Peter Bourgon and Sean Braithwaite offer an overview of microservices and data pipelines, explaining how both systems reflect the organizations and people that build them (in adherence to Conway’s law) and can be well understood in terms of their relationship to change and time. You'll learn the virtues and vices of each architecture and get enough context to apply them coherently. Read more.
16:3517:15 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Emile Vauge (Containous)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 3 ratings)
Emile Vauge explains how to effectively manage inbound network traffic in your container-based infrastructure with Traefik, a modern reverse proxy and load balancer made to deploy microservices with ease. Read more.
16:3517:15 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Location: Park Suite
Soo Choi (DevOps Research and Assessment)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)
Soo shares her experiences as a woman in tech. Even though she worked for NASA and co-founded her own successful company, rampant sexism in IT and bad experiences speaking in public nearly destroyed her career. She will examine common constructs about diversity and propose ideas to bring productive change to continue to build upon the solid foundation of inclusion we have created. Read more.

Friday, 20 October

11:2012:00 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Pierre Vincent (Poppulo)
Average rating: ****.
(4.57, 7 ratings)
Understanding the state of a running application is the key to efficiently troubleshooting production issues and ultimately anticipating outages. Pierre Vincent demonstrates how to make monitoring an integral part of development, using health checks, metrics, tracing, and other patterns to get a clearer picture of applications in production. Read more.
11:2012:00 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Dalia Simons (Wix)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 3 ratings)
Do you have an old monolith you really want to rewrite, but don’t know where to start? Dalia Simons shares ideas, tips, and strategies for rewriting an important monolith service into microservices while maintaining full availability. Read more.
11:2012:00 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Alvaro Videla (self)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)
Distributed systems are a complex. There's abundant research, but sometimes it's hard for a beginner to know where to start. Alvaro Videla discusses the foundational concepts of distributed systems and offers an overview of the best resources for getting started. Read more.
11:2012:00 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Thomas Barns (Capacitas), John Pillar (Arcadia Group)
Average rating: ***..
(3.44, 9 ratings)
With ever-increasing demands for fast business change, how can we ensure our digital channels reflect the exacting standards of performance our customers (and business owners) expect? What does this look like in an age of DevOps and continuous delivery? Thomas Barns and John Pillar share a strategy for shifting left and automating performance analysis. Read more.
11:2012:00 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Park Suite
Sam Newman (Independent)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 8 ratings)
Like any hyped technology, serverless computing promises a lot. However questions remain around its concept and implementation, especially when you start to compare how we've built systems in the past, and what serverless offers us now. Sam Newman asks (and answers), "Is serverless the future or just the emperor's new clothes?" Read more.
13:1513:55 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Kamil Smuga (Salesforce), Mihai Bojin (Salesforce)
Average rating: ***..
(3.36, 14 ratings)
Have you ever had to monitor the health of your service (server stats, application errors, etc.)? What if you had to monitor the cloud, with its hundreds of thousands of servers? Alerts can create noise and spam your team. Mihai Bojin and Kamil Smuga explain how Salesforce approaches monitoring at scale by putting customers first. Read more.
13:1513:55 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Ed Hiley (NHS Digital), Dan Rathbone (Infinity Works)
Average rating: ****.
(4.17, 6 ratings)
What are your perceptions of NHS IT? Not great? Well the truth is very different from what you might expect. Ed Hiley and Dan Rathbone offer an overview of the technical renaissance going on in parts of the NHS, where things are being done in a modern way. Read more.
13:1513:55 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Kavya Joshi (Samsara)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 3 ratings)
Kavya Joshi explores the fascinating timekeeping mechanisms used in real systems, covering the different expressions of time in the context of practical systems that use them and investigating how the timekeeping mechanism affects the properties of the entire system. Read more.
13:1513:55 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Alexander Akbashev (HERE Technologies)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 4 ratings)
Alexander Akbashev explains how his company scaled a single-instance Jenkins master from 20K builds per day to 140K using Amazon AWS services (EC2, S3, Memcache, etc.). Everything done to achieve this result was open sourced and upstreamed. Read more.
13:1513:55 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Park Suite
Steven Faulkner (Bustle)
Average rating: ****.
(4.40, 5 ratings)
Bustle has transitioned its entire production platform to AWS Lambda and API gateway. But it didn't happen overnight. The change was iterative, and GraphQL played a huge part of the process. Steven Faulkner discusses the different approaches Bustle used to transition services and data off of legacy infrastructure and explains why and how the company used GraphQL as part of the process. Read more.
14:1014:50 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Kishore Jalleda (Yahoo)
Average rating: ****.
(4.65, 17 ratings)
Keeping your signal-to-noise ratio high is a nontrivial problem. Modern tools make it easy to overmonitor (which leads to noise). The result? Missed alarms and unhappy customers. Filtering the noise is not the answer. Kishore Jalleda explains how Yahoo reduced the alert volume from ~200K a month to a few hundred by creating the right incentives and culture. Read more.
14:1014:50 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Sam Boyer (VividCortex)
Average rating: ****.
(4.60, 5 ratings)
Resilience engineering is a holy grail of modern software engineering, granting enormous benefits but difficult to achieve and dangerous to even attempt for the unprepared. Sam Boyer explores major concepts behind resilience engineering and discusses how to move toward resilience without shooting yourself in the foot. Read more.
14:1014:50 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Jamie Winsor (Chef Software)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 2 ratings)
Understanding and building distributed systems can be a daunting task, but like most other software development patterns, distributed systems mimic concepts in the real world that you're already familiar with. Jamie Winsor walks you through building a mental model to help you understand the basics of building distributed systems based on concrete, real-world systems. Read more.
14:1014:50 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Vasiliki Kalavri (ETH Zurich)
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)
Vasia Kalavri offers an overview of Strymon, a system for predictive data center analytics, and its online critical path analysis module. Strymon analyzes live traces from distributed dataflow systems like Apache Spark, Apache Flink, and TensorFlow to predict bottlenecks and provide insights on streaming application performance. Read more.
14:1014:50 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Park Suite
Guy Podjarny (Snyk)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 3 ratings)
Serverless means handing off server management to the cloud platforms—along with their security risks. With the “pros” ensuring our servers are patched, what’s left for application owners to protect? As it turns out, quite a lot. Guy Podjarny explores the aspects of security serverless doesn’t solve, the problems it could make worse, and the tools and practices you can use to keep yourself safe. Read more.
15:4016:20 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Jason Yee (Datadog)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 8 ratings)
Using real-world metrics data from thousands of organizations, Jason Yee explores the latest trends in container adoption and use, shares data on what types of applications organizations are running in containers, and explains how to best monitor these containerized applications. Read more.
15:4016:20 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Mandy Hubbard (Care.com HomePay)
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)
You rely on Jenkins to manage the full stack of your continuous delivery pipeline, but why shouldn’t Jenkins itself be software defined, ephemeral, and available at the push of a button? Mandy Hubbard explains how Care.com uses a customized, script-based startup process and Joyent’s ContainerPilot with a just few edits to a Docker Compose _env file to launch Jenkins in a Docker container. Read more.
15:4016:20 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
anne currie (Container Solutions)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 4 ratings)
Forget Conway's law. In distributed systems, Murphy’s law rules: Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Anne Currie discusses common failure modes, how to approach diagnosing highly complex issues, and what we can learn from detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple. Read more.
15:4016:20 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Manuel Alvarez (Akamai Technologies)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 2 ratings)
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Your risk mitigation strategy must layer the most cost-efficient strategies to effectively mitigate or reduce the adverse effects of failure. Manuel Alvarez explores using the CDN as a failover tool, reviewing use cases and demonstrating how to decide whether to use a CDN by evaluating costs, benefits, operations, and time to mitigate. Read more.
15:4016:20 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Park Suite
Mike Roberts (Symphonia)
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 4 ratings)
Mike Roberts describes a real-life example where an existing data platform was rearchitected and reengineered to provide several improvements: significantly increased data capacity, reduced cost, and vastly improved development cycle time. Read more.
16:3517:15 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Sandringham
Jasvir Nagra (Instart Logic), Marianna Bezler (Instart Logic)
Average rating: **...
(2.00, 3 ratings)
A developer hunting for a bug is like a doctor hunting for an illness. She does not need complete understanding of the body for the hunt to be successful. Jasvir Nagra and Marianna Bezler share a few painful distributed web app debugging anecdotes and an alternate approach using virtualization and visualization to get a holistic view of a program to track down elusive bugs. Read more.
16:3517:15 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Angie Jones (Applitools)
Average rating: ****.
(4.14, 7 ratings)
Angie Jones explains how to build stability and credibility into your continuous integration tests so that your team is able to receive the fast feedback it needs for Agile development. Read more.
16:3517:15 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite
Kiran Bhattaram (Pilot)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 4 ratings)
As the scale of data our systems produce continues to increase, the techniques our systems use to process it must evolve. Kiran Bhattaram explains why sketches are a good option for leveraging more sophisticated data structures. Read more.
16:3517:15 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Blenheim Room - Palace Suite
Sean O'Connor (Bitly)
Data center migrations are rare but interesting events. Sean O'Connor shares a play-by-play of Bitly’s 2016 move, touching on the choices made, trade-offs, mistakes, and successes from the company's decision to turn off the lights in the old data center. Read more.
16:3517:15 Friday, 20 October 2017
Location: Park Suite
Raj Rohit (Episource)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 2 ratings)
Episource just finished building a scalable, resilient serverless distributed data pipeline for coding medical charts using NLP, which scales seamlessly with the amount of data it takes in as input. Raj Rohit explores the system and the tools used to build it, such as Ansible, Lambda, and Terraform, and shares the pitfalls, failures, successes, and lessons learned along the way. Read more.