Thursday 21st & Friday 22nd June 2018
The Clayton Hotel, Cork City

Sam Newman
What Is This Cloud Native Thing Anyway?

Sam has found himself spending much of the past few years dealing with buzzword-heavy areas of technology, trying to come to terms with what it all means. From DevOps, to Microservices, serverless and now Cloud Native. So many of these terms mean different things to different people. In an effort to try and set us up with a common understanding of what Cloud Native is, Sam will be taking us on a whistle-stop tour through the history leading up to Cloud Native, and try and synthesise what it is, and why it’s important.

From the emergence of public cloud to the all consuming hype around Kubernetes, from 12 factors to servlerless, Sam will pull all these strands together to help us understand how everything is related, everything is new, and everything is old all at the same time.

Sam Newman

Independent consultant

Sam Newman is interested in technology at the intersection of things, from development, to ops, to security, and organisational structure. After over a decade at ThoughtWorks he is now an independent consultant focusing on the areas of microservices, cloud, and CI/CD.

Sam is the author of “Building Microservices” from O’Reilly, and is an in-demand conference speaker. He has worked with a variety of companies in different domains all around the world, often with one foot in the developer world, and another in the IT operations space.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you are working on right now?

Sam: I’m an independent consultant focusing in the areas of Microservices, Cloud and Continuous Delivery. I’ve got 20 years industry experience, and looking back on the things which have always been my focus, it’s been “How can I ship that faster?”. That’s still the main thing that drives me.

The reason microservices has been my main focus area for the last few years is because I think that the implications of architecture with regards to speed of delivery has been overlooked in the past.

You are running a full-day workshop at Rebel called “Designing Microservices”, could you tell us a bit more about the format and what you plan to cover?

Sam: Each class is a bit different, as I tailor the class to the attendees in the room. They get to vote for what topics interest them the most. That said, we’ll almost certainly cover a baseline introduction to what microservices actually are, just to get everyone on the same page. Other popular topics include domain-driven design, how to break down monoliths, and service collaboration options. But I also have lots of content on security, testing, deployment, serverless and organisational structures - what happens on the day is up to the attendees!

The main thing I’m trying to do with the class is create an environment where attendees feel able to learn from each other. We all have different backgrounds, experiences - so much of what we cover is all about understanding context. There are no real universal “right” answers. So we need to have a proper discussion about many of the topics we cover.

Who would you say is the target audience of your workshop?

Sam: I’d say developers, operations people, architectects and perhaps even CTOs who are interested in making use of microservices, especially those looking to break apart existing systems that are considered “too big”. I don’t assume a prior knowledge of microservices and distributed systems, but this is a complex area, so I think more experienced technologists will get the most out of the topic.

What would you like the participants be able to bring back to their daily work?

Sam: A firm understanding of what microservices are, and a better understanding as to whether or not they make sense for them to use in their own organisation. They’ll also get some concrete tips on how to best adopt microservices, and how to do so in an incremental fashion.

You are also presenting a keynote on the conference day called “What is this Cloud Native thing anyway?” - what are the motivations behind this talk?

Sam: I’ve always liked to try and distill down the core concepts behind “hyped” terms, and Cloud Native is certainly hyped! I’ll be breaking down what being cloud native is (and isn’t) about, and reflecting on where and how the ideas make sense. So if you want to try and cut through some of the FUD or hype out there, then this is the talk for you.


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