Review - Art of scalability

I have checked out this book to do some more research for my own scalability book and i have to say i was really disappointed. I was really excited to see the table of contents as i thought book would focus a lot on the human and organizational aspect of scalability and it would have some valuable insights into these areas of scalability. Unfortunately it did not manage to deliver.

Usually i can think of at least a few things that i liked about a book, in this case i am really struggling to come up with something.

The only thing i really liked was how author boiled down scaling out to three operation (dimensions):

  • Adding more clones of the same thing - replication or adding more stateless workers
  • Breaking down systems into functional partitions - each part becomes an independent service scalable independently
  • Breaking down data into subsets - sharding

I liked the idea quite a lot, unfortunately author added unnecessary complexity to it which spoiled the underlying beauty and simplicity of the idea.

On the other hand i have no problem in finding flaws with the book. The biggest one is that book is extremely vague and high level. I was really hoping to learn something about organizational aspects of scalability as i am an engineer and i do not have much experience in this area. Unfortunately it was mostly vague statements and a lot of dressed up sentences with little merit.

Then author went deep into processes and again it was very vague. Most of the time i felt like reading common sense thoughts not a book written by someone with lifetime experience in corporate scalability.

I guess some people might like the book, but i found it really diluted.

Final score 4/10

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Artur Ejsmont

Hi, my name is Artur Ejsmont,
welcome to my blog. I am a passionate software engineer living in Sydney and working for Yahoo!

Web Scalability for Startup Engineers

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