Lilit Yenokyan at Reactive Summit: “Scaling is the biggest challenge”

Director of Engineering at Pivotus Ventures, Lilit Yenokyan leads teams responsible for software delivery pipeline, testing and infrastructure, with the focus on testing Reactive microservices performance. And that’s exactly what Lilit will be talking about at Reactive Summit in Montreal.

In advance of her talk “Reactive Performance Testing”, we spoke to Lilit about her Reactive journey, the biggest challenges companies deploying Reactive face and the solution to the challenge.

What is your background and what sparked your interest in Reactive?

I have spent my entire career in software engineering. Upon receiving my Master’s from the University of Michigan, I joined a startup in Ann Arbor as software engineer, and went on to work at Microsoft and Netflix in various software development roles, and most recently joined Pivotus as Director of Tools and Quality. I have had various roles in engineering leadership, application development and test automation.

I have worked on microservices-based architectures before starting at Pivotus, and while I had heard a lot about the Reactive concept, my first real encounter with it was at Pivotus. The concepts in Reactive seem almost intuitive, yet not many companies have put them into action. It has been exciting to be part of Pivotus’ success in this realm in collaboration with Lightbend. I am excited to share that success and hope other companies will find the value in the Reactive approach, as well.

What problems do you solve as a part of your job?

Pivotus develops solutions for financial institutions, and I lead the Tools and Quality organization. My team is responsible for CI/CD infrastructure, quality and tooling. Since the conception of our company and commitment to Reactive microservices, we have put great emphasis on being prepared for rapid scaling and ensuring that services will remain performant as our customer base grew. Therefore a major focus of my team has been on performance testing.

Reactive is a new buzzword for many traditional developers. What is your prediction for its importance in application development over the next couple of years?

In recent years, monolithic applications have become somewhat an analogy for unscalable design. Yet, most forward-looking companies and developers are adapting existing monolithic architectures to microservices and designing new applications with that in mind. Reactive is known as one of the best approaches to this, and the term does get overused. I found the pre-summit workshop by Lightbend to do a great job explaining and diving deep into those differences.


What is the biggest challenge companies deploying distributed Reactive systems are facing?

Scaling. Correctly planning the deployment model and environment set-up to handle the scale. Also, bugs that result from this form of scaling.

What is the best solution to this challenge?

Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) practices and performance testing.

What is your most ambitious professional dream that you hope to achieve one day?

My dream zone is being at the intersection of conceptualizing new problem spaces and building things. I enjoy undertaking challenging projects and working with ambitious people who want to make the world better. I would like to build revolutionary software companies.

Who should attend your talk and what will they learn?

Engineers and engineering leaders who are thinking about or have started using Reactive microservices would find my talk illustrating and our lessons learned valuable. I will focus on our approach for Performance testing, share the tools and methodology used, and reveal some interesting unexpected discoveries.

Whom would you like to connect with at the conference?

I enjoy attending technical conferences for the exposure to new concepts and ideas, as well as making interesting and important connections. The conversations we start during conferences at times develop into collaborations, new concepts, ideas and friendships. I am genuinely interested in meeting and exchanging ideas with everyone, whether you are an experienced Reactive developer, an executive from a well-established company, or a recent grad.


Don’t miss Lilit and her talk “Reactive Performance Testing” at Reactive Summit in Montreal on October 23. Book your ticket now.


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