alexey prohorenko's words



 «  Rant about the Art of Scalability


Well, I wanted to have some impressive and interesting title, that's why I went ahead with this one. Actually, it's not a rant, but just my review. Sorry guys. Don't leave though.
So, I've finished reading this book: The Art of Scalability: Scalable Web Architecture, Processes, and Organizations for the Modern Enterprise by Michael Fisher and Martin Abbott. Sad to say, but it's miles (kmeters, etc.) below my expectations. And I didn't expect that much. Though, it might be just me.
Frankly speaking the book is well written, has good thoughts and ideas, generally correct and blah-blah-blah. But it's not what somebody would *love* to have. And I am speaking just for myself for now, so, read "somebody" as "Alexey Prohorenko" (duh!). It's too general. Way too general. It doesn't talk much about technical aspects of scalability, but more about the organizational ones, processes. And even this part is not too into details, but pretty high-level.
I guess, this is also a very sensitive topic. Unless you have been in a *very good small startup*, and a *very good big company*, and have been in touch with their pains, and issues, and succeess stories, as well as stories of pain -- you definitely will not be able to get answers to your questions from this book. Strangely enough, it says all the right things, but they just don't come together the same way as you get from the practical experience. And scalability is one of those things which in 75% comes with the practice and 25% from the theory. I saw tons of highly skilled engineers and managers, who knew their field incredible well, but just getting themselves together when shit goes up, when they need, or will have to scale... Just doesn't work. So they failed.

I always was saying -- "Before you lead, you have to follow". Same applies here. So, sorry guys, no silver bullet here. If given a choice, I'd pass on buying this book. Me, personally, didn't get nothing new or important from it. You - ? Have no idea. You can give it a try, at least the book is *not* P.O.S., but I can't recommend it for the usefulness.





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