0183 - Web-Scale Software Engineering with Karl McCabe

Hi, I’m Allen Higgins.

And I’m Déaglán Connolly Bree. 

We are really excited to have Karl McCabe join us today, to talk about what he has learnt over the years developing web-scale software. Karl is a UCD Computer Science graduate with a career spanning start-ups and the tech giants, Amazon and Meta. I first met Karl in IONA Technologies, you may not have heard about but I’ll call one of Irelands first tech unicorns, before unicorns were a thing.

[D] So Karl, tell us a little about that journey before we dive in?

[A] We were going to title this talk “Team Patterns behind Web-Scale Software”…

·       What are some common themes you have seen in how large companies like Amazon and Meta develop software?

·       Do they change how they develop software over time, and if so how and why?

·       Do they design their software with quality in mind from the outset?

·       These companies run production systems used by billions of people, and any outages can be very public. Do outages influence how companies approach building, changing or testing software?

·       What development methodologies are typically used?

·       Do engineers have freedom to choose a programming language or platform to build their software? Or are they forced to follow the company standards?


Well, Karl, we’ll wrap up there.

Thank you for taking the time to talk and for sharing your knowledge and experiences. Let’s do this again some time.


Title: Software Quality in Large Scale-Software Development

Venue: Science 2.16/2.17 (ALE)

Date&Time: Friday, Feb 24 @ 16.00

Abstract: Developing high quality “web scale” software presents a unique set of challenges. In this talk I will reflect on some patterns I have seen in how software is developed in companies such as Amazon and Meta. What are some of the forces that shape a company’s approach to how they develop software? Do they design for quality? How do large outages influence a company’s approach to building reliable software? What development methodologies are prevalent and why? Why do they use certain programming languages over others? How do they approach CI/CD, testing, code reviews etc. and why? 

Speaker: Karl McCabe is a UCD Computer Science graduate (1990) with extensive experience in the software industry. For the past 17 years he has occupied a number of senior engineering and management roles in Amazon and Meta.

This seminar is organised by the School of Computer Science and the School of Business and will be conducted in host/interviewer style led by Allen Higgins of the School of Business.



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