Scaling Gilt: From Monolithic Ruby App to Distributed Scala Micro-Services

Since its founding in 2007, Gilt — the innovative online shopping destination — has transformed its infrastructure from a monolithic Ruby application into distributed, fault-tolerant, scalable architecture based on hundreds of micro-services built with Scala.

In this talk, Gilt Lead Software Engineer Yoni Goldberg will describe some of the technological innovations that have helped Gilt to reach its current size, and highlight some of the core challenges that the company's engineering team continues to face. He will also discuss what every tech team needs to consider and address before heading down the path of building a first-class micro-services architecture.

There will be pizza and drinks, sponsored by Huxley Associates.

About the speaker:
Since joining Gilt at 2010 as a platform engineer, Yoni Goldberg has been leading a variety of personalization efforts and other customer-facing initiatives — including the Gilt Insider loyalty program, the post-purchase experience, and SEO/optimization efforts. Prior to joining Gilt, Yoni worked at Google, where he wrote his master's thesis on Fusion Tables (a tool for collaborating on big data in the cloud). He also worked at IBM and served as an officer in the Israeli Defense Force. Yoni holds B.Sc and M.Eng. in computer science from MIT. His current main interests are big data, Scala, Node.js, online-team collaboration, and Arduino, as well as running, cycling, kite-surfing and coffee.

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  • Paul M.

    My first time attending. A very interesting presentation. The micro-service names looked more like SOA verbs than REST nouns. I'm curious where versioning is placed in the service REST API - URL, header parameter or mime type.

    April 9, 2014

  • Nermin Š.

    Regarding the question about how distributed transactions are handled with microservices approach, I thought it is worth mentioning what Martin Fowler says about this issue in his Microservices blogpost (http://martinfowler.com/articles/microservices.html):
    "Decentralizing responsibility for data across microservices has implications for managing updates. The common approach to dealing with updates has been to use transactions to guarantee consistency when updating multiple resources. This approach is often used within monoliths.

    Using transactions like this helps with consistency, but imposes significant temporal coupling, which is problematic across multiple services. Distributed transactions are notoriously difficult to implement and and as a consequence microservice architectures emphasize transactionless coordination between services, with explicit recognition that consistency may only be eventual consistency and problems are dealt with by compensating operations."

    April 5, 2014

  • Jesús Zazueta M.

    Very interesting migration concepts. Thanks! :)

    April 5, 2014

  • Marc S.

    Really informative presentation

    April 4, 2014

  • Bryce A.

    Great meetup. Cool to see the wins and losses in a transition not only from a Rails project to the JVM, but also the step wise shift in the project architecture.

    1 · April 4, 2014

  • Sheethal

    I was there last night and I left my Business Cards. We hire Scala professionals.

    April 4, 2014

  • Oliver R.

    Very useful. Will consider micro-services for next project.

    April 4, 2014

  • Anton K.

    Will it be recorded and accessible in the internet?

    March 29, 2014

  • David W.

    What are the parking rules down that way? Do the meters become free at 6pm?

    March 24, 2014

    • Nermin Š.

      The parking down there is not great, unfortunately. The meters do go free at 6 and there are even non-metered free spots in some places, but they are all in high demand. There are several pay lots nearby, however, which are less expensive in the evening.

      1 · March 25, 2014

  • Nermin Š.

    There will be pizza and drinks, sponsored by Huxley Associates.

    March 12, 2014

  • Michael P.

    Did anyone get accepted to the Scala classes at Gilt HQ in New York last month? If so, can they share the slides?

    March 10, 2014

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