New book ‘The Tao of Microservices’ by Richard Rodger
By Des Martin

The Tao of Microservices book cover

The Tao of Microservices is the new book by nearForm co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) Richard Rodger. Due for publication in full in Fall 2016, the book’s first two chapters are available now as part of publisher Manning’s early access program (MEAP).

Richard is an industry expert and thought leader in next-generation cloud and mobile software technologies. He was previously CTO of FeedHenry, a mobile application platform provider that was acquired by RedHat in 2014 for €63.5 million.

Richard began working with microservices as far back as 2011, when the technology was in an embryonic stage. Back then, he had just published his first book, Mobile Application Development in the Cloud. In that book, Richard introduced another then-new technology, Node.js, as the perfect platform for cloud-based enterprise software systems. Richard is also the creator Seneca.js, a microservices tool kit for Node.js that is now a key component of nearForm’s software development and delivery arsenal.

Microservices and Node.js together have become one of two pillars of how nearForm does business (the other is the company’s participation in the global open source software movement). Richard attributes a large part of the company’s success to its adoption of microservices architectures. He tells us: “If you want empirical evidence that microservices actually work in practice, nearForm is it.” Why? “Microservices let us deliver quickly. Fact.”

Richard is also passionate about how microservices can neutralize that major software development headache: technical debt. “Microservices give you the benefits of rapid development, flexibility in the face of changing requirements, and enable you to offer your clients continuous delivery.”

They do this, Richard goes on, because they are small, self-contained building blocks that snap together easily. Part of Richard’s core message in the book is that microservices bring the fun back to software development. Chapter 1 of The Tao of Microservices states that – much as we in the industry may hate to admit it – “most software projects are still delivered late and over budget”. The book provides the facts and statistics that back up this statement. Microservices, on the other hand, enable software developers to build big systems that are a pleasure to work with. No more lost weekends or ‘death march’ projects.

Richard Rodger

Richard Rodger, author, ‘The Tao of Microservices’

As mentioned above, Node.js is another core technology at nearForm. Richard says: “Microservices and Node.js are made for each other. Unlike other language platforms, Node.js makes it easy to build small, independent services that communicate over the network. The lightweight nature of these services, and the flexibility with which they can be deployed – using technologies like Docker – mean that Node.js overcomes some of the trade-offs inherent in the microservice architecture. Microservices, for their part, provide the large-scale component architecture that is missing from Node.js.”

The Tao of Microservices is a distillation of five years of work on real-world microservices systems of all shapes and sizes. “This book is a field report from the front lines of the microservice architecture,” says Richard. “I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. The good news for readers is: you don’t have to!”

Read more from Richard on Twitter at @rjrodger, the nearForm blog and his personal blog.

Download your free Chapter 1 of The Tao of Microservices now.

The next nearForm webinar takes place on Tuesday March 29, 17:00 hrs GMT, with Richard Rodger speaking about The Tao of Microservices. Register here!

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