Tag Archives: scale


Presentatie op LAC congres – Agile schalen op basis van best practices

lac-agile-schalen-op-basis-van-best-practicesOp donderdag 17 en vrijdag 18 november is de 18e editie Landelijk Architectuur Congres. Net als vorig jaar ga ik in de track Agile Architecting een presentatie geven over architectuur en architecten in een Agile omgeving. De titel van de presentatie dit jaar is: Agile schalen op basis van best practices.

Bij bol.com hebben we jarenlange ervaring met het werken met agile en scrum. Het aantal IT teams dat hiermee werkt is de laatste 2 jaar enorm sterk gegroeid. Daarnaast doen we diverse experimenten met holacracy. Voor het opschalen zijn we steeds op zoek gegaan naar best practices. Je zal dan ook veel elementen uit SAFe terug zien, maar nooit SAFe.

Agile schalen op basis van best practicesIn de meer dan 100 scrum sprints die we er bij bol.com inmiddels op hebben zitten hebben we een berg ervaring opgedaan met agile architectuur en het schalen van agile practices. Architectuur kan een belangrijke bijdrage leveren aan een snellere time-to-maket. In de presentatie zullen voorbeelden gebruikt worden uit bijvoorbeeld de realisatie van sneller en vaker leveren, de winkel langer open en Logistiek via bol.com.

Presenting on pragmatic microservices GOTO Night Thursday, May 12, 2016

goto nights pragmatic microservicesOn Thursday, May 12, 2016 I will be presenting on pragmatic microservices at the GOTO Night organised at bol.com. The presentation will be the support act for Randy Shoup. Check some of his previous presentations on SlideShare.

Pragmatic microservices

We have been around in e-commerce for years. However compared to other companies we’re young. Some would say we are in the scale up phase. In a number of ways we are experiencing a rapid growth. What does our IT need to stay innovative and scale to enable all this? What are the tradeoffs that are made for innovation in IT?

This year we won the Best Web Shop award because of our “efforts to get the difficult to achieve basics right that make the difference for customers”. IT has a large role in achieving this, at the scale of a web shop like bol.com. Did (micro)service make the difference to achieve this?

At bol.com we have a pragmatic, business value driven approach to (micro)services. In this presentation we share insights and the tradeoffs we made so IT enables to scale and innovate.

Presentation Pragmatic (Micro)Services

Here is the presentation I used:

ScaleScale on the stack behind Netflix scaling

Over at ScaleScale, a blog about all the good stuff when it comes to scaling, an interesting post was published on the stack behind Netflix scaling. Since Netflix is quite public about how they operate, the post put was together with stuff from around the internet.

Stack Behind Netflix Scaling Like Spotify Netflix is kind of famous for creating and scaling their culture. This gives some important context to the culture to understand how they scale their software stack and why it works. If you are interested in scaleable platforms and full stack development check it out.

Velocity 2015 Amsterdam

Thursday was a very interesting day for me at Velocity 2015 Amsterdam, build resilient systems at scale. It is one of the best conferences I attended in the last years. Using some quote’s and bullets I’ll give a little insight.

On retro’s, post mortems, etc

Lindsay Holmwood showed that what goes wrong in retrospectives, post mortems and the like is mostly based on:

  • Confirmation bias – aka ignore alternatives
  • Hindsight bias – aka – alter memories to fit a narrative. Talk about events with the knowledge of the outcome.

To overcome these we could use techniques like: Take opposing viewpoints (on purpose, to investigate things), contrarian thinking, let people explain stuff in terms of foresight and all kinds of sharing information.
In short for this to work we need a safe environment where people can speak up. Starting from the believe that everyone did the best they could. And always keep in mind that there is a difference between work as imagined and works as done.

Optimizing teams in a distributed world – Conway’s 3 other laws

Conway’s Law stems fro the greater part from his 1967 paper: How do committees invent.
The slides and all references mentioned in the presentation.

  1. Whose structure is a copy of the organisation’s structures. To put it different: Communication dictates design. Also check The Mythical Man Month and Dunbar’s number. So manage communication between teams.
  2. – Doing it over – There is never enough time to do something right, but there is always enough time to do it over. Engineering and architecture are always about: Trade offs. Also check: Satisfying vs Sacrificing. So remember it is a continuous process.
  3. If you or your team cannot explain all the code in your release package your release is too large.

  4. Homomorphism – If you have 4 groups working on a compiler, you’ll get a 4-pass compiler. So organise teams in order to achieve what you want (around business capabilities).
  5. Disintegration – The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Time is against large projects and teams. Aim for a scope that supports a release cycle of two weeks or less. So keep your teams as small as necessary.

It is better to be too small than too big.

We are all DevOps

One of the best talks on DevOps in the Etsy world by Katherine Daniels.

On hiring:

It is easier to teach someone a new technology skill, than to teach someone not to be an asshole.

Innovation – Horizontal and Vertical Progress

In the book Zero to One Peter Thiel (member of the PayPal mafia) distinguishes between two types of progress:

  • Horizontal or extensive progress
  • Vertical or intensive progress

Horizontal or extensive progress

Horizontal or extensive progress means copying things that work. It is going from 1 to N. It isn’t to hard to imagine horizontal progress. We already know what the base looks like.

From another level horizontal progress is globalisation. It is taking things that work somewhere and making them work everywhere.

Vertical or intensive progress

Vertical or intensive progress means doing new things. It is going from 0 to 1. Vertical progress is harder to imagine because it requires doing something that nobody else has ever done.

The single word for vertical progress is technology. However there is no reason that technology is limited to computers! Any new of better way to do things is considered technology.

Technology matters more that globalisation

Thiel states that if the future would be just about globalisation it would be catastrophic. If without any technological advancement just China and India would copy the way we live in Europe and North America, we would need to scale energy production and utility of scarce resources to such an extend that would devastate our planet. Spreading (copying) old or even current ways to create wealth are not sustainable. We need technology to advance our ways to create wealth in a sustainable way.

The thing is that although since the invention of the steam engine around 1760 up to around the 1970 there has been a tremendous technological progress. Creating more wealth and well-being for each generation. And we expected this to continue. But did it? But a better future doesn’t come automatic. Since the late 1960’s only computers and communications have improved dramatically.

Just think of Eroom’s Law: the observation that drug discovery is becoming slower and more expensive over time. This isn’t a new trend. It was first discovered in the 1980’s.

Presentaties februari 2015

Voor februari 2015 staan er diverse presentaties op de planning met name op het gebied van architectuur en agile:

Kennissesies agile architectuur bij Ordina

Op 5 februari organiseert Ordina een kennissessie over agile architectuur in de praktijk. Net als op het LAC zal ik een presentatie houden over de waarde van architectuur en time-to-market. Waarin ik laat zien dat juist architectuur waarde en snelheid kan bieden bij de time-to-market. Dit aan de hand van voorbeelden uit de praktijk bij bol.com .

Symposium Move IT – Logistieke optimalisaties mbv Big Data

Big Data machinesOp 11 februari organiseert studievereniging Inter-Actief Symposium Move IT. Een symposium waarop transport, logistiek en distributie centraal staan. Thema van de presentatie die ik samen met een collega van de afdeling logistiek geef is: Wat is de rol van IT en big data bij het optimaliseren van de performance in de logistieke keten?

Bol.com heeft ruim 5 miljoen klanten in Nederland en België. Met ruim 9 miljoen artikelen en 15 miljoen kliks per dag is bol.com het schoolvoorbeeld van een big data omgeving. Om alle klanten optimaal te kunnen bedienen, moeten onze IT-systemen optimaal werken. De IT-organisatie neemt daarom een cruciale rol in, met 31 scrumteams die worden ingezet op alle organisatieniveaus.

Door deze multidisciplinaire teams worden continue verbeteringen geanalyseerd, ontwikkeld en live gebracht. Dit allemaal in nauwe samenwerking met bijvoorbeeld de logistieke afdeling.

De afdeling Logistiek is verantwoordelijk voor het betrouwbaar en stabiel houden van de supply chain. Daarnaast worden logistieke oplossingen bedacht en uitgewerkt. Dit betekent dat voortdurend alle logistieke processen en systemen onder de loep genomen worden en vernieuwen. Samen zorgen IT en Logistiek dat systemen en applicaties van bijvoorbeeld het ordermanagement optimaal functioneren.

Architectuur in agile omgeving

Daarnaast zijn er twee presentaties / Q&A sessies gepland met bedrijven uit diverse sectoren waarin we laten zien aan de hand van praktijkvoorbeelden hoe binnen bol.com architectuur wordt ingevuld in een agile omgeving. Daarbij gaan we zeker in op hoe je scrum gebruikt in een software ontwikkelomgeving met meer dan 30 teams.