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How to Tame Your Service APIs: Evolving Airbnb’s Architecture

Airbnb was reaping the benefits of its migration to services, but soon managing hundreds of services and thousands of APIs created new problems. The dependency graph became too complicated, which impacted scalability, reliability, and velocity. Airbnb is tackling these challenges via introducing unified aggregator APIs, schemas, and service blocks into their technical architecture. Learn the design thinking and trade-offs considered for these modifications aimed to simplify their service-oriented architecture.

Key Takeaways

  • Recognize new challenges as service-oriented architecture scales to hundreds of services
  • Simplify APIs per needs at different layers of the stack
  • Understand API design trade-offs for unified schemas and frameworks
  • Test and operate flexible aggregator APIs and service blocks with tooling


Jessica Tai

Tech Lead Manager on the Users Platform Team @Airbnb

Jessica has worked at Airbnb for 6+ years and is now a tech lead manager on the Users platform team. She started as a full-stack engineer and later transitioned to a backend infrastructure engineer on Core Services. As part of the Homes Architecture Working Group, she led the read path track for Airbnb's service-oriented architecture (SOA). She currently manages a team focused on building the Service Block API aggregator for Users. Prior to Airbnb, Jessica received her Master’s of Computer Science at Stanford and her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA.

Find Jessica Tai at:

Wednesday Nov 11 / 09:50AM PST (40 minutes )

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