Book review: Release It -- Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software

I’ve been reading quite a bit over the past 2/3 months (thanks to — believe it or not — my wife), and today I wanted to share my review of Release It! Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software.

The book is extremely interesting as it’s a collection of patterns and practices to build reliable and robust distributed systems, with a few advices on process design as well: for example, I extremely liked, at the beginning of the book, the notion that a lot of software architects are living in the “ivory tower”, meaning that they are distant from the real-world code that turns their ideas into working software, and rely too much on the happy-path rather than recognizing that, more often that we’d like, systems are going to fail.

Another trait of the book I really liked is the fact that the author brings his own experience to the table: you’ll read about weird situations where an e-commerce portal used to be down every night at a specific time, how a “dumb” firewall can kill all of your idle connections and so on; by the end of the book you’ll surely be hating on firewalls, connection pools and (missing) timeouts.

The only negative I can think of is that the book is a bit too java-ish, as sometimes you might feel some ideas won’t really apply to the platform you generally work with — but, to be honest, that’s no biggie.

Strongly, strongly recommended for software engineers that want to understand how their systems should be modeled once they reach a certain scale and, inevitably, need to deal with failure.


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