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What I have learned from mircoXchg 2015

We attended the microxchg 2015 from 12.2.-13.2. with a crew of 7 people and did not regret it. 🙂

Location was the Kalkscheune in Berlin, a lofty-style industrial building. Nice atmosphere, great catering.

What did I learn?
  • Microservices are written in English without hyphen. Thanks Sam! 
  • It is interesting to focus on one specific/narrow topic and listen to talks with different perspectives/aspects 
    • But a total of 26 sessions in two tracks did result in some repetitions. 
    • Friday evening nobody wanted to hear ‚docker‘, ‚conway‘, ‚microservice‘ anymore.  (Unfortunately our talk was the last one…)
  • There is no concise/sharp definition of what microservices are. (‚I know it is a microservice architecture when I see it‘)
    • But most people agreed on these properties: 
      • „Can be deployed independently“
      • „Loosly coupled service oriented architecture with bounded context“
      • „Self-contained and independent runtime process“
    • Unclear are the following questions:
      • How large is micro?
      • Does the UI belong to microservices? If not, where should the UI be consolidated? 
      • How do you handle service to service communication: sync/async 
  • Microservice architectures are not trivial.
    • They result in „Complex, distributed, interconnected systems“ (Uwe Friedrichsen) and show emergent behavior. 
    • Technically there are a bunch of challenges you have to tackle:
      • developing, running, deploying, testing, debugging, tracing, discovering, observing…
    • For each of these challenges promising solutions are popping up, but if you have to cope with all challenges at the same time, this might get overwhelming. 
  • Clearly microservices are now deep in the technology adoption cycle and are rapidly gaining speed.
    • In some sense it has become the focal point of the agile, lean, devops, domain driven design, container, cloud, continuous delivery movement – supporting each other in a positive feedback setup.
    • If you get it right, then this leads to adaptive (product) organizations that can react extremely fast to (market) changes.
      • If you do not need this: Then maybe you should not go micro.
    • First figures/analysis on the performance of microservice based organizations are available (Adrian Cockcraft): ’10 times faster reaction times at 70% cost.‘
  • And of course as usual: There are no silver bullets.   
What can I recommend?
  • Uwe Friedrichsen gave a great introductory talk 
  • Same is true for Sam Newman 
  • Fred George presented the challenges you have to face with microservices architectures
    • His asynchronous services example pushed ‚loosely coupled‘ to the extremes. Had a nice chat with him afterwards, what this means for product organizations and product managers: ‚Command and control‘ is so dead 🙂  
  • On the more technical side I definitely enjoyed Jörg Pfründers talk about testing of microservices
    • Great introduction of what it means for your continuous delivery pipeline if you go micro.
    • The slides are in German but the drawings are quite self-explanatory.
  • For me the highlight of the conference was Adrian Cockcraft’s State of the Art in Microservices talk
    • „Cost and size and risk of change reduced“ AND „Rate of change increased“
    • With his insights into the Valley’s industry he showed the big picture and why these are so exciting times to live in. 
And finally: 

At leanovate we have built a simple shop application („Microzon“) based on a bunch of microservices (product, cart, billing, ….).

In this lab environment we experiment with different implementation variants, frameworks, infrastructure components to cope with the above mentioned challenges: Microzon on Github

Our talk presents some of our learnings.

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