Andy Marks


Office Principal at ThoughtWorks

Andy Marks is the Office Principal for ThoughtWorks Melbourne and Perth. Originally an itinerant teacher of programming at university, Andy has been writing code professionally since 1996 in Melbourne, Brisbane, San Francisco, Leeds and Singapore. Joining ThoughtWorks as a technical lead in 2002, Andy has deep experience in agile development and has, since 2013, become one of those dreary functional programming evangelists you dread speaking to at parties.

Andy is a frequent speaker at conferences in Australia as well as user groups in Melbourne, even though he does not understand monads… not even a little bit.

YOW! West 2016 Perth

A Rose By Any Other Name: Monoglot Microservices


Our industry has been gripped by microservice fever in recent years as many organisations plan to take to their legacy systems with refactoring scythes to reduce them into loosely coupled, distributed, solutions. In doing so, these organisations will be forced to build substantial operational discipline around managing these services, as the monolithic modules which communicated in-process become fine grained services communicating over the network.

These organisations are likely to be coming to grips with advanced forms of application monitoring, discovery, log management, contract-based testing, automated deployment and environment provisioning, all required to run a microservice architecture with confidence.

But what if there were other ways to reap the benefits of distributed architecture (e.g., independent scaling, versioning and deployment, loosely coupled systems) without needing to construct your own “Netflix in the Small” level of operational awareness? If you’re willing to stick to a single implementation language, then perhaps there is…

The OTP (Open Telecom Platform) sits beneath both the venerable Erlang and hipster Elixir languages and provides the process monitoring and management sophistication needed from a platform built to manage telephony applications like those used by Ericsson, where Erlang originated. Building on OTP with either Elixir and Erlang removes the need for 3rd party tools like Hysterix, Zookeeper and forever wondering whether you should use HTTP PUT or POST to update your resources 🙂

Is the trade off worth it? Is it worth sacrificing a polyglot future for a less complex operational environment? Come join Andy and Martin as they demonstrate the power of the OTP platform and proposes a monoglot microservices architecture that will have you decommissioning your DropWizard and Spring Boot services in favour of a braver Erlang/Elixir world.