Review: Scalability Rules 50 Principles for Scaling Web Sites

Scalability Rules is a solid book and I think it is definitely worth reading, although it is not perfect. Lets start with things that I liked about the book.

- I liked the chapter about caching, as it had pretty useful information.
- I think some of the rules throughout the book were useful.
- It was interesting to see different point of view on some problems and some new analogies.
- The book was quite easy to read.

Unfortunately, there were some things about the book, that I did not like.

First of all, I think chapters are way too short. 270 pages, minus chapter 13, divided by 50 rules gives just a couple of pages per rule. It almost feels like you are reading a blog. There is just too much ground to cover, so everything is very vague.

Secondly, I did not like the way AKF Scale Cube is referenced throughout the book. It seems like authors assume, that readers have read their previous book "Art of scalability" and know by hears all of their naming and analogies. Even that Scale Cube is a neat way of describing scalability if feels very arbitrary and referring to X-axis, Y-axis and Z-axis all over the book makes things more confusing than it should be. I also did not like referring from between rules by using rule numbers alone. If authors just included rule names you would be able to figure out what they mean, but reading "as we describes in rule 32" tells me nothing. Especially, reading it on a mobile device where you cant flick over to table of contents and look up the name so quickly.

Finally, some of the rules felt like "padding" and some like "common sense". Entire chapter 13 was just a repetition without significant value. Rules like "Learn aggressively", "Be competent" or "Learn from failures" felt like real no-brainers and I felt they were not very helpful nor relevant to scalability.

In summary, I think book is worth reading, but if you want to learn more about scalability you would need to read many more books on the subject as Scalability Rules just scratches the surface.

Final score: 7/10

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About the author

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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