Francesco Cesarini is the founder of Erlang Solutions. He has used Erlang on a daily basis since 1995, starting as an intern at Ericsson’s computer science laboratory, the birthplace of Erlang.
He is also the co-author of ‘Erlang Programming’ and ‘Designing for Scalability with Erlang/OTP’ both published by O’Reilly and lectures at Oxford University. You can follow his ramblings (mainly on Erlang and Elixir) on twitter.
What is your background and what sparked your interest in distributed systems?
I started computer science at Uppsala University in Sweden, and got into distributed systems early on at Ericsson, working on fixed and mobile broadband solutions. In the telecom space, you needed to ensure there were no single points of failure. That meant at least two computers (three if you ask Leslie Lamport), which by default, result in a distributed system.
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?
With systems having to be scalable and resilient, they will by default have the properties described in the reactive manifesto, even if they will not necessarily be called reactive. And thanks to programming models, systems which do not have to scale or be resilient will have these features built in, but hidden from the developer.
What is the biggest challenge companies deploying Reactive systems are facing?
Fighting legacy code and old paradigms and outdated technology.
What is the best solution to this challenge?
Use the right tool for the job rather than the tool at hand. Keep your eyes open for emerging, non mainstream tech, and remember that most problems have already been solved, we are just not aware of these inventions, as they were probably ahead of their time.
What is your most ambitious professional dream that you hope to achieve one day?
Become an organic vegetable farmer and make my own wine.
Who should attend your talk at Reactive Summit and what will they learn?
Anyone who wants to understand how, in technology, we’ve always made two steps forward and one step back, and wants to understand the frustration of an Erlang developer in seeing wheels being reinvented, but not being made round. Based on lessons learnt in the last twenty years, from Erlang and the Kubernetes space, Veronica and I will offer our view of the future.