November 28, 2019

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A young lady's illustrated primer to technical decision making

A young lady's illustrated primer to technical decision making

Charity Majors discusses making better choices with software. Whether you're selecting a new polyglot persistence layer, launching a startup from scratch, or modernizing a mature environment, there have never been more opportunities for chaos. Charity explains when you should use boring technology, when to take a flyer on the bleeding edge, and best practices for making solid technical decisions.

Talk Title A young lady's illustrated primer to technical decision making
Speakers Charity Majors (Honeycomb)
Conference Velocity
Conf Tag Build resilient systems at scale
Location Santa Clara, California
Date June 21-23, 2016
URL Talk Page
Video Talk Video

Software is eating the world and probably your brain. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen an explosion of complexity in areas like polyglot storage, composable infrastructure, containerization and microservices, and coupling platforms (*aaS). Even five years ago, there were a set of fairly widely accepted best practices (virtualization, config management, RESTful services, and DBMS), but now every element of your stack is a never-ending rabbit hole of possibilities and questions. Solid technical judgment is more important than ever. You can’t anticipate every problem, but you can identify and head off many of them in advance. Charity Majors explores how to evaluate major technology choices (hint: it’s not really about the technology), covering best practices for reusing components and how to think about amortizing operational cost over the lifetime of the technology. Charity then explains when you should use boring technology (h/t @mcfunley)—and what it means for software to be “boring”—and discusses the massively greater tolerance for risk that early startups have and where exactly they should spend those risk tokens for maximum competitive impact, as well as how to culturally reinforce these values across teams and communities.

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