Complex Systems: Microservices and Humans

Many companies nowadays employ microservices as an effective way to break down their systems into smaller pieces. Microservices are a powerful way to chunk by functionality and/or team, evolving pieces of the system independently, and achieving better abstraction and encapsulation. But microservices come at the cost of running an often complex distributed system. A good way to think about a distributed system is like a living organism: Different parts of the system impact each other, components need to all be able to handle scaling events, and changes in one part will sometimes have unexpected consequences in other parts. Importantly, the software isn’t the only complex system to think about: the humans that make up the organization are another.  

In this talk, I will dive into some best practices that we have learned about what it takes to build, evolve, and operate such systems. Learnings from containers and service meshes, DevOps, Chaos & load testing, and proactively planning for growth are all important to success. In addition, we can apply similar thinking to how the human organization comes into play. By paying attention to the interplay between human and software systems and the challenges this interplay presents, we can set both the system and the people that power it up for success.


Katharina Probst

Director of Engineering @Google Cloud Platform
Katharina Probst is a Senior Engineering Leader, Kubernetes & SaaS at Google. Before this, she was leading engineering teams at Netflix, being responsible for the Netflix API, which helps bring Netflix streaming to millions of people around the world. Prior to joining Netflix, she was in the... Read more Find Katharina Probst at:

Tuesday May 18 / 09:00AM EDT (50 minutes)

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