Blog Posts tagged with: videos

Feb 11 2013


Two Recent Talks

Video for two of my recent talks has gone live. Here they are!

Whence Complexity

As programmers we grapple with complexity. Whether we classify it as "essential" or "accidental" complexity, we all agree that complexity is poison. At the same time, as living beings, we are sustained by complexity. Complexity allows us to sustain our existence far from thermal equilibrium. In natural systems, complexity produces robustness. In human-created systems (whether information, social, political, or economic) complexity tends to create fragility and extreme non-linear responses to stimuli.

At Clojure/conj last November, I discussed the origin of complexity as the result of ongoing dynamic processes.

Thanks to some last-minute calculations about spherical chickens, there was also an excessively vivid mental image included, for which I apologize.

This one is on Youtube.

Loopholes in CAP

Last November, I also spoke at QCon San Francisco on the subject of the CAP Theorem (a.k.a. Brewer's Conjecture.) CAP says that, of the three qualities of "consistency", "availability", and "partition-tolerance", a distributed system can achieve at most two.

I have to confess that this was a particularly nerve-wracking talk, because I followed Eric Brewer on to the stage. Yes, that Eric Brewer, he of the Conjecture itself and one of the field's top experts.

CAP went from "conjecture" to "theorem" in 2002, when Seth Gilbert and Nancy Lynch proved it. And, thus, a thousand database products were launched. Like any theorem, though, there are subtleties to consider. In this playful talk, I look at all the assumptions underlying CAP and try to violate them all, with examples from real systems.

You can see this talk at

Aug 04 2009


Pairing and Conversations with Corey Haines

Corey Haines was in our neck of the woods recently, and we were delighted to host him for three days of pairing and great conversations. We're very fond of the craftsmanship model of software development, especially as a method of training. Although we haven't gone about it as explicitly as Corey has in his journeyman tours, we all feel that we learned our skills largely through working with great programmers. (And if we had it to do over again, we'd seriously consider following Corey's example and really being journeymen for a while.) Our interview process here involves a full day on-site, pair programming with members of our team, and we often learn cool things from even that amount of cross-pollination. So we felt especially fortunate having three days with Corey.

Corey arrived with an interest in Clojure, so he spent most of his time pairing with Stuart on one of our Clojure projects. And he stayed with Muness, in his apartment right upstairs from our office. The result? Two cool video interviews:

We couldn't be happier with how these turned out. They highlight Stuart and Muness and their passions, but they show a lot about the rest of us here at Relevance as well. Thanks, Corey!

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