Closing Keynote: Events, Dear Boy, Events - Voxxed Days Singapore 2019

Published on: Saturday, 29 June 2019

Speaker: Tim Berglund (Confluent)

Tim is a teacher, author, and technology leader with Confluent (the company behind Apache Kafka). He serves there as the Senior Director of Developer Experience. He can frequently be found at speaking at conferences in the United States and all over the world.

Tim is the Author of Gradle beyond the basics. He blogs occasionally and is the co-host of the podcast. lives in Colorado, USA with the wife of his youth and their youngest child, the other two having mostly grown up.

Events, Dear Boy, Events.

Harold McMillan was Prime Minister of England from 1957 to 1963, the last British PM born during Queen Victoria’s rule, and one whose wit and even-keeled nature defined his administration. When asked by a reporter what might force his government off the course he had firmly laid out for it, he allegedly replied “Events, dear boy, events.”

The same might be said about what is driving software architectures today. Event-driven systems have enabled organizations to build substantial microservices ecosystems with all of the decoupling and evolvability that we were promised by the distributed computing technologies of 20 years ago. But these systems raise some interesting questions: if events now rule, what has become of entities? If we store events in logs, do we still need databases? Can we merely produce immutable events to trivially scalable logs and loose our microservices to consume them with no regard for what is actually out there in the world?

To make sense of this, we turn to the past. Spanning 2,500 years before McMillan deployed his wit on that poor reporter, we will look at what Heraclitus, Aristotle, Karl Popper, and W.V.O. Quine thought and wrote about these same questions. Are there things in the world that maintain their identity over time, or is the world just a sequence of experiences? Life may be a stream of events, but sometimes I still want to look things up by key. Four great thinkers will help be better at following the paradigm that will be shaping our systems for the next generation. And as usual, a good philosophy lesson will make us better at practical tasks. We’ll apply a rich view of events and entities to a proposed microservices architecture that can last the next decade.

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