Ethical vs Unethical? Or Ethical vs Inadvertent?

Next month I’ll be co-hosting the first QCon Tech Ethics track in London with Gareth Rushgrove. We’ll hear speakers from many different areas of technology talking about the ethical issues they face. We’ll discuss ethical (and unethical) algorithms, codes of ethics, machine learning, AI, hiring, education and diversity. We could talk about much more but … Continued

Having a #Meltdown Over #Spectre?

Confused yet by Meltdown and Spectre? It’s hard not to be! So what should or can you do about it? Our View For Meltdown and Spectre it’s security business as usual. Patches exist for Meltdown and half of Spectre (for most machines) although more fixes will be forthcoming. Make sure you apply all these patches … Continued

Why Use Distributed Systems? Resilience, Performance, and Availability

Earlier in this series we discussed what Distributed Systems are and why we use them, and we controversially defined a DistSys as any system divided over more than one physical location and using decoupling and copying to improve performance. Then we realised that’s most systems! However, when we explicitly talk about building DistSys we usually … Continued

Why is a Single-Threaded Application like a Distributed System?

No, this isn’t the worst Christmas cracker joke ever. In the first blog in this series I talked about what is a distributed system and controversially defined it (IMO) as a system that spans more than one physical location and uses the related concepts of copying and decoupling to improve operational efficiency (speed, resilience) and, … Continued

What Is A Distributed System?

This short series of posts comes out of a project I did with Diptanu Choudary, lots of discussions with other expert DistSys practitioners here at CS and elsewhere and my own background as an early engineer in the field. Everyone has an opinion. This is mine. You are very much allowed to have a different … Continued

Cloud Native From the Experts – Skyscanner

Launched in 2003 and headquartered in Scotland, Skyscanner is a global travel search site with more than 50 million monthly users. Their self-built technology, which includes websites like and a mobile app, supports over 30 languages and 150 currencies. Skyscanner successfully use some highly advanced Cloud Native strategies in a mixed environment: they have … Continued

Microservices SOS! Over-Engineering War Stories

For me, one of the most fun and useful parts of going to conferences is talking to other attendees. I learn a lot that way about what folk are currently trying and learning. Talking at a recent Velocity conference on distributed systems I had three extremely interesting conversations about three different problems attendees had experienced … Continued

ASOS New (DevOps) Look

As part of the investigation for our new book “The Cloud Native Attitude” I interviewed a lot of expert practitioners to find out what they had tried, struggled with and achieved with Cloud Native. Below we’re publishing the second of these interviews – a case study of the fashion ecommerce retailer ASOS. ASOS interests me because … Continued

Study: The Tech Transformation of the Financial Times

Earlier this year as part of the preparation for my new book “The Cloud Native Attitude” I interviewed a lot of expert practitioners to find out what they had tried, struggled with and achieved. Over the next 2 weeks I’m going to publish those interview write-ups. They are also in the book, which is currently … Continued

It’s The Productivity, Stupid

Since March I have been interviewing enterprises, vendors and pundits about Cloud Native for my ebook, “The Cloud Native Attitude”, which came out last week and is currently available as a free download. In August, The New Stack very kindly ran an excerpt from my book, which was about distributed systems, aka microservices. In it … Continued