January 13, 2014
RICON West 2013, Riak’s developers conference, featured two tracks over two days. However, we did bring everyone together for the keynote speakers. Pat Helland (Salesforce.com), Justin Sheehy (Riak), and Jeff Dean (Google) keynoted this past RICON.
To kickoff the beginning of Day Two, Riak’s CTO, Justin Sheehy, spoke on Maximum Viable Product. His talk examines how software is created and his passion to create the types of things that people will care about long after the fact. Drawing analogies from art, architecture, the military, and more, he explains why building it faster is not always better and how it is vital to develop the basics so that it can be better in the long run.
At the end of RICON West, we closed with Google Fellow, Jeff Dean. His talk, “The Tail at Scale: Achieving Rapid Response Times in Large Online Services,” describes a collection of techniques and practices to lower response times in large distributed systems whose components run on shared clusters of machines, where pieces of these systems are subject to interference by other tasks, and where unpredictable latency hiccups are the norm, not the exception. Some of the techniques adapt to trends observed over periods of a few minutes, making them effective at dealing with longer-lived interference or resource contention. Others react to latency anomalies within a few milliseconds, making them suitable for mitigating variability within the context of a single interactive request. He also shares examples of how these techniques are used in various pieces of Google’s systems infrastructure and in various higher-level online services.