What the “service” in microservices really means

JAXenter Editorial Team
Jeff Sussna

In his DevOpsCon keynote, Jeff Sussna talks about Conway’s Law and explores the relationship between organizations and systems.

Conway’s Law expresses Melvin Conway’s observation that we are doomed to design systems that mirror the shapes of our organizations. Forward-thinking companies like Amazon and Netflix use Conway’s Law to their advantage. They structure their organizations to reflect the kinds of systems they want to create by matching microservices architectures with so-called “2-pizza” micro-teams.

Conway also, though, observed that designing a system is just the beginning; it also needs to be constantly redesigned. He stressed the importance of organizational flexibility to effective design. How can we achieve this flexibility without descending into re-org madness?

This talk will explore the relationship between organizations and systems. It will delve more deeply into Conway’s original article, and introduce ‘Conway’s Corollary’. By connecting Conway’s work to ideas from service design and Promise Theory, it will present an approach that treats the design and operations of systems and organizations as continuous and inseparable.


Jeff Sussna_3Jeff Sussna is an internationally recognized IT consultant and systems/design thinking practitioner. He has nearly thirty years of experience across the development/QA/operations spectrum and has led projects for Fortune 500 enterprises, major technology companies, software service startups, and media conglomerates. Jeff’s firm, Ingineering.IT, helps digital businesses design service-centered digital delivery organizations. Jeff is the author of “Designing Delivery: Rethinking IT In the Digital Service Economy”, and is a highly respected teacher, writer, and speaker on topics such as DevOps and Design Thinking.
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