Pitfalls of a High-Speed CI

Summary of my bookmarked links from Sep 12th, 2023


  • Death by a thousand microservices

    "The Church of Complexity" laments the tech industry's obsession with overly complex systems and microservices. It suggests that several factors contributed to this trend, including the rise of full-stack JavaScript developers, the influence of FAANG veterans, and the availability of easy venture capital. The article argues that simplicity is often more effective, highlighting successful companies that started with monolithic code bases. It emphasizes the importance of solving real problems and understanding system scalability. The challenges of microservices, including code redundancy and developer ergonomics, are discussed. The article suggests alternatives such as trunk and branch services and notes a shift away from excessive complexity in the tech industry.

  • We built the fastest CI in the world. It failed. Here’s what we learned

    In April 2020, Earthly set out to revolutionize CI/CD tooling, envisioning a world where builds were highly efficient and consistent. They embarked on a journey to create a unique build system that would eventually become Earthly CI. Their approach was to tackle one problem at a time, starting with build consistency (Earthly), then adding remote runners for speed (Earthly Satellites), and finally, the full-fledged Earthly CI. While Earthly and Earthly Satellites gained traction, Earthly CI faced challenges. New users were skeptical and hesitant to migrate from existing systems, often citing the cost of migration. Existing Earthly users embraced the technology, but Earthly CI's value proposition didn't align with their needs. The company learned that selling developer tools, especially those requiring integration work, couldn't be rushed or forced. Engineers preferred a hands-on, self-exploratory approach. Efforts to convert Earthly users into Earthly CI users also faced hurdles, as the latter didn't meet the specific requirements of many organizations, leading them to opt for Earthly Satellites instead. In summary, Earthly's journey to create Earthly CI showcased the importance of understanding user behavior, matching product offerings with user needs, and recognizing that developer tools often require a soft-selling approach.