Overcomplicated Architecture: Scaling Bottleneck

As a digital scale-up continues to gain momentum and grow rapidly, one of the key determining factors of success is how quickly they can evolve their product. The business desires to push features to production as fast as possible and prove value to its customers. This leads to rapid technology decisions and rapid design evolution due to time constraints of testing quickly in the market.  As time goes on, the engineering team grows rapidly to support the ever growing set of requirements to support the product.  

At some point in the evolution of their business, there is an inflection point, where the business can no longer sustain the rate of change necessary to remain successful.  There are many different causes for this which we refer to as scaling bottlenecks. In this presentation I will explore one of these bottlenecks, an overcomplicated architecture, which can impact how quickly they can evolve their product.

  • How does a company get to an overcomplicated architecture? 
  • What are the signs of an overcomplicated architecture?
  • How does one get out of an overcomplicated architecture

As we explore these topics, we will address the scaling dilemma by showing how focusing on an evolutionary architecture rather than the perceived target architecture enables the organization to deliver a differentiated offering in the midst of scaling the business and responding to market disruptors.


Cassandra Shum

Technologist | Architect | Ex-Thoughtworks

Based in New York, Cassandra Shum is an enterprise architect and former member of the Technical Advisory Board at Thoughtworks. As a software engineer and architect, she has spent the last 15+ years focusing on building highly scalable and resilient architectures including event-driven systems and micro services on cloud-based technologies. She has been focused on a wide range of technologies with an emphasis on cloud, mobile, and software delivery excellence.

Cassie has also been involved in growing not only organizations in their technical strategy and delivery practices, but also the next generation of technologists. Some of her passions include advocating for women in technology and public speaking. She is also involved in promoting more female speakers in technology.

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Monday Dec 5 / 11:20AM PST ( 50 minutes )


Microservices Architecture Cloud-Based Systems Infrastructure Operational Complexity Automated Testing Continuous Delivery DevOps


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