I loved Fred’s post on the Zen of Erlang. I decided to check out his blog on the bus ride back from work today and read a few of his other posts. Two posts stood out to me.

Lessons Learned while Working on Large-Scale Server Software is, in my mind, required reading for any software engineer working on backend and infrastructure systems. Knowledge of lot of the concepts mentioned in this post (like the CAP Theorem, or the Fallacies of distributed computingis essential in developing robust software systems. Fred’s style of writing is lots of fun to read, and I really his views on computer networks in this post —

There’s nothing more dangerous than someone going for a stroll over the network without knowing what it entails.

The network owes you nothing, and it doesn’t care about your feelings. It doesn’t deserve your trust.

The network is a necessary evil, not a place to expand to for fun.

The second post that stood out to me on how Queues Don’t Fix Overload. He explains in simple terms why queues (when used incorrectly) seem to solve your scaling problems in the short run while introducing a whole new class of problems of their own. As mentioned in the post, identifying bottlenecks in your system and scaling and fixing those is the correct way to deal with system overload.

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