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3 Takeaways from the O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference  

March 5, 2020

Last week the Rookout team, myself among them, participated in and sponsored the O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference in New York. New York is a city I personally love - the energy, the food, and the views are always top notch- there’s really just no comparison to the city that never sleeps. On top of that, I had the  opportunity to mingle with some of the brightest minds in software architecture from many of the most successful companies in the world. Mix all of that together, and you really couldn’t dream up a better week.

As usual, there were many vendors and talks throughout the conference that focused on modernizing software architectures, discussing new trends in the industry, and of course strategies on building and deploying cloud native applications. The week went by in a blur, but now that I’ve had a few days to rest my feet and lean back into the chill California lifestyle, let me share with you a few thoughts from the conference this past week.  

It’s Time to Accelerate

As we talked to people from the many companies who stopped by the Rookout booth- shoutout to all those who did, we hope you’re enjoying your Rookout swag!- one thing seemed clear: organizations are extremely eager to adopt new technologies that can save them time and accelerate their development process. Of course, developers have always wanted to optimize their processes, but more and more we’re seeing organizations put big money and specific focus around cutting edge tools that can help them improve the software delivery experience. And as we know, developers want to go where they can work on cool, cutting edge technologies with progressive learning based cultures. I mean, honestly, who doesn’t?!



It’s definitely evident in today’s market that software developers and software architects are in demand and organizations are realizing that spending money on automation, efficiency, and productivity tools is not only an investment in their company, but also an investment in those developers and their quality of life. Today, organizations are not only trying to build brand loyalty for their company or product, but also trying to build work environments that drive internal employee loyalty. Organizations that do those things well are the ones that thrive over the years.


Drifting to the Future



As we all know, there has been a huge push to the cloud over the last 5 years. Organizations are going all in on migrating applications to cloud providers that promise cost savings in infrastructure and avoidance of managing costly on-prem data centers. The talks and workshops at O’Reilly definitely echoed this with many of them giving attendees views on architecting applications for the cloud. Now that cloud computing is no longer an afterthought, organizations are putting resources and spending into cloud native technologies that can both ease migrations as well as allow them to operate more efficiently in cloud environments.

In an interesting talk by Pivotal, Nathaniel Schutta explained that it’s not always just about technology, but rather company culture that plays a huge role in determining the success of the adoption of cloud computing as well. Yes, adopting things like Kubernetes, containers and microservices may be part of the journey, but culture often times needs to fundamentally change with such a dramatic shift in strategic business decisions involving new technology. As we continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with new and evolving technology, don’t forget to focus on effective communication, transparency, and of course, leave time to make mistakes along the way.

Service Meshes have gone Mainstream

What would an architecture conference be without the mention of service meshes? With microservices taking over as an architectural pattern of choice for many companies, service meshes can play a critical role in some of the key challenges which microservices bring about in the areas of service-to-service communication, security, and monitoring. In particular they provide a way to simplify network communication in a consistent and secure way across services while giving hooks into your existing monitoring systems. When you’re building distributed applications at scale, service meshes can bring a lot of simplicity to your overall architecture.



This year O’Reilly brought some great talks from folks from Google, Buoyant (the makers of Linkerd), and many more. Megan O’Keefe from Google talked about how Istio (an open source service mesh tool) can help to manage service interactions across both containers and VM based services. In addition, Charles Pretzer from Buoyant got into the benefits of using Linkerd as your session mesh platform of choice. Organizations adopting Kubernetes are finding huge amounts of value when deploying Istio, Linkerd, Consul, or one of the other service mesh solutions in their Kuberentes environments.  


All in all, it was a great conference with the team at O’Reilly this year.  There were many thought leaders in the building and we had the pleasure of talking to many of them throughout the week and in direct conversations at our booth.  It’s truly an amazing time to be in the world of software -- the tech future's looking brighter than ever --and we look forward to many more years of engagement with the O’Reilly community.  We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at O’Reilly 2021!


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