Software runs the world. We use software to manage our calendars, talk to our friends, run our businesses - and, as our societies inevitably try to replace people and paperwork with apps and algorithms, we find ourselves facing some vital questions about the reliability of that software. If you take the time to actually read the terms and conditions, you’ll find that just about every system we rely on comes with no warranties and no safeguards - you use it at your own risk, and if it doesn’t work, that’s your problem.
But there’s more to building reliable systems than just writing good code. Reliability isn’t just about software engineering, it’s about systems engineering; about taking a holistic view of services that includes software, hardware, networks, and people. Join Dylan Beattie for an insightful look at the history of systems engineering, at some of the strategies and design patterns that we can use to build reliability into our systems, and at what happens when the software that runs the world has a bad day.
Dylan Beattie is an independent consultant who has been building data-driven web applications since the 1990s. He’s managed teams, taught workshops, and worked on everything from tiny standalone websites to complex distributed systems. He’s a Microsoft MVP, and he regularly speaks at conferences and user groups all over the world.
Dylan is the creator of the Rockstar programming language, and is known for his live music shows featuring software-themed parodies of classic rock songs. He’s online at dylanbeattie.net and on Twitter as @dylanbeattie.