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Michael T. Nygard, Independent

 Michael T.  Nygard

Michael strives to raise the bar and ease the pain for developers across the country. He shares his passion and energy for improvement with everyone he meets, sometimes even with their permission. Michael has spent the better part of 20 years learning what it means to be a professional programmer who cares about art, quality, and craft. He's always ready to spend time with other developers who are fully engaged and devoted to their work--the "wide awake" developers. On the flip side, he cannot abide apathy or wasted potential.

Michael has been a professional programmer and architect for nearly 20 years. During that time, he has delivered running systems to the U. S. Government, the military, banking, finance, agriculture, and retail industries. More often than not, Michael has lived with the systems he built. This experience with the real world of operations changed his views about software architecture and development forever.

He worked through the birth and infancy of a Tier 1 retail site and has often served as "roving troubleshooter" for other online businesses. These experiences give him a unique perspective on building software for high performance and high reliability in the face of an actively hostile environment.

Most recently, Michael wrote "Release It! Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software", a book that realizes many of his thoughts about building software that does more than just pass QA, it survives the real world. Michael previously wrote numerous articles and editorials, spoke at Comdex, and co-authored one of the early Java books.

Presentation: "Failure Comes in Flavors (part 1)"

Time: Tuesday 10:30 - 11:20

Location: Kammermusik

Abstract: The bad news: applications are more complex and error-prone than ever. Site development projects are really enterprise application integration projects in disguise. SOA portends far-flung interdependencies among unreliable services. Failures will spread wider and wider, reaching across your company and even crossing boundaries between companies. How do monumentally costly failures begin, develop, and spread? Can they be averted? Once you hit Release 1.0, your system will be living in the real world. It has to survive everything the messy, noisy real world can throw at it: from flash mobs to Slashdot. Once the public starts beating on your system, it has to survive without you. Did you know that just having your database behind a firewall can bring down your system? I'll show you that and many other risks to your system. You will learn the biggest risks to your system and how to counter them with stability design patterns. We'll talk about the best way to define the term "availability" and why the textbooks get it all wrong. In this session, you will learn why the path to success begins with a failure-oriented mindset. I'll talk about numerous antipatterns that have caused and accelerated millions of dollars worth of system failures. I'll share some of my scars and war stories with you (don't worry, they're all suitable for polite company) in the hopes that you can avoid some of these costly disasters.

Presentation: "Failure Comes in Flavors (part 2)"

Time: Tuesday 11:30 - 12:20

Location: Kammermusik

Abstract: In part 1, we looked at common sources of system failure: those commonly created structures that exacerbate problems. Now, we'll take on Stability Patterns that not only stop the antipatterns, but also add resilience to your system. Apply your new failure-oriented mindset to unchain yourself from the pager and save your company from embarrassing, and costly, disasters. These patterns combat entire classes of failure modes, making your system robust against even unforeseen problems. Books on design and architecture only tell you how to meet functional requirements. They help your software pass Quality Assurance. But painful experience has shown that "feature complete" is not even close to "production ready." After this talk, you'll be prepared to use your failure-oriented mindset to make your system a success.