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Tuesday, May 7 • 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Post Hoc Systems Architecture: An Argument for Microservices First

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Common advice about microservice architectures is to begin with a monolithic application and then break it into microservices, such as per Martin Fowler's observation of the difficulty of getting bounded contexts right from the outset. On the opposite side of the spectrum, others such as Stefan Tilkov argue for starting with a microservice architecture "to allow for fast, independent delivery of individual parts within a larger system." We go one step further than Tilkov by proposing that it can be a good investment to start with a microservice architecture when long-term requirements or obligations are unclear, in order to be able to later identify business-critical components to merge and refactor into small but highly maintainable monoliths while isolating low-priority technical debt in non-critical microservices that require little to no maintenance. This approach aims to expedite initial release as much as possible while also minimizing the long-term cost of strategic technical debt incurred along the way. We describe how this originally unintentional approach played out over two years for the information retrieval infrastructure of Watson Discovery Service and why we are now formalizing it.

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avatar for Anastas Stoyanovsky

Anastas Stoyanovsky

Senior Software Engineer, IBM Watson
Anastas works in artificial intelligence and information retrieval for IBM Watson, working in collaboration with IBM Research. He holds an MSc in pure mathematics from Purdue University and a BSc in mathematics, computer science, and neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh... Read More →
avatar for Aiton Goldman

Aiton Goldman

IBM Watson
avatar for Charles Gala

Charles Gala

IBM Watson
Charles Gala is a software engineer at IBM Watson, working on machine learning powered information retrieval for Watson Discovery Service. He has a research background in machine learning and pattern recognition techniques using live video. Charles has a master's degree in computer... Read More →

Tuesday May 7, 2019 1:00pm - 1:45pm EDT
Grand Station 4 Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square