A Technologist Who Speaks Business
I’m at QConSF all this week, so you’ll get to hear my impressions of every session I go to. Lucky you!
Today is the start of the shorter sessions, so you get a three-for-one deal.
1) Caching at Scale with Alex Miller
Miller works for Terracotta and so most of what he concentrated on was EHCache and Terracotta. Much of the session had to do with configuring and using each of those tools, but I did get a couple of good reminders about what’s good to cache and what isn’t. Specifically, before caching something, make sure it has good “locality” (i.e. the same piece of data tends to be asked for in clumpy bursts of time) and a good distribution (i.e. the majority of people ask of a small subset of the total data universe).
2) Lessons Learned from Architecture Reviews with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Wirfs-Brock opened with two slides showing two different ideas of “collaborative.” In one, all the stakeholders and reviewers of an architecture gather together in harmony and all are shooting for the same goal for the common good. In the other, they only collaborate in the sense that the conquered collaborate with their occupying army. It’s important to know which kind of situation you’re in before picking your toolset to deal with it. I was a little shaken when she showed a slide of my boss’ book and said it was an example of a toolset to use in the occupying army kind of collaboration. What does that say about my day job?!
My best takeaway from the talk is that it’s useful to clearly organize your architectural feedback into buckets:
1) Recommendations — we really think you need to do these and not doing them would be a mistake
2) Suggestions — if you do these I predict they will make you happy, but you won’t miss them if you don’t do them
3) Observations — a place to put statements about perceived problems that aren’t really problems, or point out good choices that should be kept
3) Hadoop with Philip Ziegler
Hadoop is a system for running massive calculations over massive amounts of data. Ziegler took us through an overview of it that was good and engaging, but really not much different from what you can get reading the web site.