Stephen Spalding

API engineer for Netflix's consumer and studio experiences

Stephen Spalding first encountered the joys of distributed systems while writing multiplayer games for the TI-83 during math class in 8th grade. After earning Master’s degrees in electrical engineering and image processing from GA Tech and ENSEEIHT respectively, Stephen dove into medical imaging algorithms for GE Healthcare before pivoting to nuclear control systems for the Tennessee Valley Authority and then messaging systems for OpenTable. Stephen now distributes systems at Netflix as a Senior Software Engineer.


How Netflix Scales its API with GraphQL Federation

Netflix is known for its loosely coupled and highly scalable microservice architecture. Rather than expose 100s of microservices to UI developers, Netflix offers a unified API aggregation layer at the edge. But as our business has scaled globally, our ability to innovate rapidly is approaching an asymptote due to the growing number of developers and increasing complexity of the domain. How do you scale out a microservice architecture while providing a single, unified API that enables rapid UI innovation decoupled from a swaying sea of microservices?

In order to address this growing problem, we’ve developed a federated GraphQL platform to power the API layer. This solves many of the consistency and development velocity challenges with minimal tradeoffs on dimensions like scalability and operability. In this talk, we’ll share the story of developing the federated API layer for Netflix’s studio ecosystem and explore possibilities and concerns for applying this approach to other domain areas.


Wednesday Nov 11 / 09:00AM PST (40 minutes )

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Panel: Past & Present API Architectures: What, Why, How & When

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Wednesday Nov 11 / 11:30AM PST (40 minutes )

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3 weeks of live software engineering content designed around your schedule.

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