Fred Hebert

Everything is Terrible

Erlang & Distributed Systems Enthusiast

Everything is Terrible

The strength of abstractions is in simplifying our comprehension of technically complex topics in order to benefit from them without the need to understand them completely. On the other hand though, abstractions are often imperfect, and as our use cases become more and more advanced, we end up finding a lot of problems related to them.

At the heart of our systems lie standards related to network communications, cryptography, security, text and languages, as well as all kinds of storage and representations of information. We also find humans who work in these systems and are essential to their success.

In this talk, we will explore how these fundamental components can end up causing us problems. Without being an expert, we'll explore through real-world examples, the best approaches to take to prevent them.

Talk objectives:

  • Introduce the audience to types of bugs they possibly did not know they could have.
  • Highlight the importance of understanding the properties required of our systems and how those may clash with the properties of common abstractions that appear adequate.
  • Show multiple cases of emergent complexity and problems in seemingly simple solutions.
  • Scare people about their systems and the responsibility they have about them.

Target audience:

  • Developers who enjoy cynicism.

About Fred

Fred Hebert is the author of 'Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good!', a free ebook designed to teach Erlang (hardback copies also available), and of 'Erlang in Anger', a follow-up ebook about operating Erlang systems in production. He is a system architect at Genetec, an IP video surveillance, access control management and license plate recognition company.

Prior to this, he was principal member of the technical team at Heroku, working on routing components and logging components. 

Github: fredhebert

Twitter: @MononcQc

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