Posts in architecture

Pulling an Inverse Conway Maneuver at Netflix

When I first joined the Netflix Platform team circa 2020, the Observability offering was composed of a series of tools serving different purposes. There was Atlas for metrics, Edgar for distributed tracing, Radar for Logs and Alerts, Lumen for dashboards, Telltale for app health, etc. It was a portfolio of about 20 different apps. Big and small, ranging from business-specific tools to analyze playback sessions to low-level tools for CPU profiling.

written in architecture, collaboration, sociotechnical Read on →

Documenting Decisions

It’s Monday morning. You’re sitting at your desk with your steaming cup of Joe, ready to sink your teeth into that new feature you have to develop. The git pull downloads months worth of changes, and you dive into the code. Piece by piece, you start building a mental model of the system, trying to make sense of the different components. But something doesn’t feel right. Why was it built this way? It feels weird, it feels so obviously wrong, so poorly designed, so suboptimal.

You realize you need help. Whoever wrote this mess should be able to provide some context. You run git blame and your own name hits you in the face like a brick. You start thinking that maybe it’s no so wrong. That you probably had your reasons. If you could only go back in time and ask your past self…

written in architecture, culture, documentation Read on →

Working With Queues

Queues are a powerful tool for building reliable systems. In this article, I’ll describe some of the tips and tricks I came across when working with queues.

Some of the advice is specific to Amazon SQS queues because that’s what I’ve been using the most lately. And also because some of them come from [this amazing article][1] from the [Amazon Builders’ Library][2].

written in amazon, architecture, aws, patterns, queues, sqs Read on →