Day 2 of µCon

The second day of µCon proved to be as interesting as the first. I have another huge list of things to investigate, and there are some things I need to get underway at work tomorrow. As I said in my  post about day 1, the most important thing about microservices is, for me, the discussion of the problems and patterns of modern web-development. Pretending that monolithic applications work is no longer an option.

  • The relationship of microservices to SOA came up several times, with people questioning whether this was just a re-branding or rehabilitation of SOA.
  • Another good question emerging from microservices is why we still can’t produce satisfactory architecture after all this time (Conway’s Law dates back to 1968).  We have a cycle of new techniques becoming common, then standardised, then growing bloated and cluttered until someone takes a clean-sheet approach and we start again.
  • The concept of cohesion is one that I haven’t paid enough attention to; (micro)services should be ‘loosely coupled, highly cohesive’. It was also good to be reminded that logical and physical architecture do not need to be the same. I don’t think we pay enough attention to things as simple as package structure.
  • Jeppe Cramon pointed out that “a service that only deals with data is a database,” and we already have APIs for that. Why wrap that in REST?
  • One thing that’s difficult for me personally is getting out of the database transaction mindset. Cross-service transactions are a bad thing, but are likely to become prevalent as large software providers make it easier for people to do things the wrong way.
  • Jakub Korab had an important lesson for developers working with monoliths: if you touch any external system then you’re working with distributed computing. Monolithic architecture is an assumption that has worked (more-or-less) for a long time, but it’s not really true. All developers should have an awareness of the CAP framework and the Fallacies of Distributed Computing.

The only major problem I had with µCon was the lack of female presenters. If a subject has no female practitioners with something to say, then the topic may not be ready for a conference. Otherwise it was an excellent two days. I’ve already booked a ticket for the 2015 event.

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