Andrew Clay Shafer

Senior Director of Technology at Pivotal at Pivotal


Architecture, I do not think it means what you think it means
Thursday 16:10 - 16:55
Cloud Native

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Everyone seems to have an intuitive understanding of ‘architecture’ as the process and product of planning, designing, and constructing. The problem is most people don’t have the same understanding which leads to disagreements about what the process and product entails. The transition from software shipped on physical media to software delivered as services further complicated the conversation as operating services introduces other factors that must be considered on an ongoing basis. These misunderstandings have only been exacerbated as greater speed and scale create new problems necessitating novel emergent solutions. This presentation will attempt to highlight the need for new language with dense semantics about the emerging architectures (because just saying ‘microservices’ is causing more problems than it solves) while also pointing out that many of the struggles people have delivering software are rooted in architecture. Barbecued sacred cows and references to Conway’s Law are highly probable.


Andrew draws on a background in system automation, agile methods and web operations to transition organizations to next generation cloud infrastructure at Cloudscaling. Andrew Co-founded Reductive Labs, where he helped organizations build better systems with Puppet. He coined the term 'Agile Infrastructure' and contributed a chapter to the O'Reilly book Web Operations (The one with barracuda on the cover. That's right, barracuda...).

Andrew has over 15 years working with technology but he is always trying to explore new and better ways to solve problems. He doesn't claim to have all the answers, but hopes he can help people ask better questions. Andrew is more and more frequently given the opportunity to talk on his experience and ideas about managing software and systems. He is infrequently asked to stop talking.

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