Josh Berkus

CEO, PostgreSQL Experts

Scale Fail
7 minutes, 3.4mb, recorded 2011-04-14
Josh Berkus

In a fast-paced, sardonic presentation on elements of scale in website and application design, Josh Berkus uses humor to display what he considers to be faults of the current design industry. The first and most prevalent of these is a constant eye toward trendiness: while it is necessary to consider demand, trends, and innovations, Berkus facetiously endorses website development in whatever technology 'has the most buzz,' regardless of the efficiency of that technology, or its ability to scale. In this same vein, he dismisses scales, performance charts, and statistics as 'unsexy,' saying that monitoring and testing is far too mechanical and well-reasoned.

Berkus also mocks the tendency to repeat repair processes on various jobs instead of finding more innovative solutions, calling it 'barn door troubleshooting' and promoting it as a popular technique in Silicon Valley. Application development, too, is not spared as Berkus highlights the industry's exaggeration of the importance of sexiness as opposed to competence.

In a final blow against current trends in development, Berkus dismisses caching and revision as necessary to stable scaling, and instead declares programs with Single Points of Failure (where a single problem brings down the entire infrastructure) as central to development, popularity, and overall job security.

Josh Berkus has been a member of the PostgreSQL Core Team since 2002. He is CEO of PostgreSQL Experts Inc., a PostgreSQL professional services company. Prior to working on PostgreSQL, he worked with a variety of other software, including, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle PL/SQL, and (shudder) COM+. He also does Perl.


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