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Commiserating About Microservices Nightmares

Organizations adopt microservices to scale engineering productivity and because they have a dream that things will become easier, they'll be able to move faster, and that their software will become more reliable. However, this dream often devolves into an elaborate, sprawling, and persistent nightmare of complexity and confusion. Software inevitably breaks, and when that breakage is difficult to observe or explain, it's particularly painful. How do things go wrong in production and what are the lessons we can learn from those experiences?

Those are the questions we've been asking ourselves, our customers, and leaders in the industry that we know and respect. We held our first "Evening of Microservices Nightmares" event at our new office last June. We had lively presentations by Bryan CantrillBryan Cantrill, Vijay GillVijay Gill and Marius EriksenMarius Eriksen. Their presentations struck a chord with attendees. We know they did with us.

Learning and sharing

Learning and sharing are core to our values at Lightstep. We wanted to start a dialogue about "microservices nightmares" and lessons learned. We believe there just isn't enough open discussion in the industry, and there is mounting anxiety around potential pitfalls. There is plenty of hype about upside, but not enough clear, specific documentation of failure modes and possible remediations. Too many engineering teams in too many companies are struggling with the same issues: we'd like to have more forums where practitioners can ask questions and learn how things are or should be done with microservices.

Upcoming events

We're excited to host our next "Evening of Microservices NightmaresEvening of Microservices Nightmares" event on Thursday, September 20 in Austin. We've got engineering leaders from Under Armour, BigCommerce, and Indeed lined up to present lightning talks about what they've learned along their path to adopting microservices.

If you're in the Austin area, check out the detailscheck out the details and join us! It's sure to be entertaining, and of course there's an opportunity to commiserate over pizza and beer.

We'll also be co-hosting an event on September 26 in San Francisco with Redpoint. Ben Sigelman, Lightstep co-founder and CEO and former Googler, will be presenting "What we got wrong: Lessons from the birth of microservices at GoogleWhat we got wrong: Lessons from the birth of microservices at Google." Google deserves a lot of credit for imagining (and popularizing) what we now call "microservice architectures," but hindsight is 20/20. Many of the mistakes that were made at Google are being recreated by the rest of the industry today. Ben will talk about what they got wrong at Google and how those lessons can be applied today. We hope many of you in the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to join us.

Want to learn about microservices and avoid nightmares? Stay informed.Stay informed.

Event Details

Name: What We Got Wrong - Lessons from the Birth of Microservices at Google Description: Google deserves a lot of credit for imagining (and popularizing) what we now call microservice architectures. That said, hindsight is 20/20, and many of the mistakes we made at Google are being recreated by the rest of the industry today. What did we get wrong about microservices at Google, and how can we apply those lessons today? Date: 9/26/2018, 5:30-7:30 pm Speaker: Ben Sigelman Location: Redpoint's South of Market Office 21 South Park Street San Francisco, CA 94107

September 17, 2018
3 min read

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About the author

Kristin Brennan

Kristin Brennan

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