Throwing Technology Over the Wall

By Chris Skinner via

I was listening to someone talking about monolith versus microservices structures recently, and they likened it to an old car versus a new one. 

Old cars were made of metal and welded together into a solid machine where, if any part breaks, you have to replace the whole machine. The machine is unwieldy, slow and hard to change. A new car is moulded and put together as a network of components. Each component is independent of the machine, and can be therefore switched out quickly and easily and replaced. The machine is fast, easy and speedy to change.

Nice analogy, and speaks to two themes that I would advocate for any organisation.

The first is how to organise your developer team. I always fall back to the discussion with one start-up who uses Amazon’s two pizza approach as their focus. Each Amazon development team is structured to a size where they can be fed with a maximum of two pizzas for lunch. For Jeff Bezos, small teams make it easier to communicate more effectively, to stay decentralised and moving fast, and encourage high autonomy and innovation. This is so obviously the case today in an API marketplace structure that it demands such decentralised approaches.

The second theme is how a bank should structure. A bank has historically controlled everything in their value chain, and tightly coupled that chain.

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