The Reactive Summit 2017 Summary Report


The Reactive summit is usually focusing on Reactive Architecture and Programming and Fast Data architecture and technologies.

This is the conference for someone looking into creating distributed and scalable systems.

Lightbend is the host and the leader behind the event and they did an awesome job with the organization and the content.

The following is a summary of our takeaways from the Summit that was collected from various sessions and interviews.

A Community Effort , not a marketing event

Lightbend did an amazing job bringing the marketing content to a minimum, didn’t focus on one specific vendor or technology, instead they had a nice blend of different vendors and independent contributors who are considered industry leaders in that space.

One example would be the open-source lead contributors to multiple reactive projects addressing similar problems.


Reactive in Production

Last year, during the Reactive Summit 2016, the question if the Lightbend reactive technology stack is ready for production was brought up few times, this year it became evident that, not just ready for production, but also, added a tremendous value replacing a legacy stack.

While some of the Lightbend customers highlighted use cases and success stories, one session in particular showed the benefits of using the Reactive stack in production, this was a session by Joel Horwitz of IBM and Neeraj Garg of Verizon where they talked in length about the added business value, faster time to market, smaller infrastructure footprint among other benefits.


Event Driven Architecture at the Core

Jonas Bonér, the CTO and founder of Lightbend gave a very nice talk highlighting that the Event-driven architecture is at the core of the Reactive Architecture. You can send system commands using different approaches such as asynchronous messages or RPC, depends on the requirements and use cases, however when it comes to handling events, reactive is a perfect fit.

Jonas, talked about the important traits associated with Event-driven and Reactive architecture, such as, Autonomous, loosely coupled, scalable, resilient and traceable.

Using event logging and building objects’ state based on recording and playing back events can lead to an amazing concepts such as time-travel and increasing certainty.

Also, “eventual consistency” came up many times emphasizing the fact that; often times, architects and developer mistakenly assume strong  consistency is the requirement while this is not the case.

On the note of acting autonomously and eventual consistency, Mark Burgess gave a great talk on the promise theory covering many aspects of those important concepts.

“In a network of autonomous systems, an agent is only concerned with assertions about its own policy; no external agent can tell it what to do, without its consent. This is the crucial difference between autonomy and centralized management.”

“Mark Burgess, Promise Theory”


Distributed Microservices and Fast Data synergies

Dean Wampler, VP of Fast Data engineering, gave a very thoughtful and nice talk on streaming systems and the guidelines on moving from batch to streaming, he also highlighted a very good point on the increasing synergy between Microservices and Fast data as both of them share the Reactive Manifesto traits and share the benefits from building backbone for highly distributed systems.

Akka Actors and Akka Streams

Colin Breck of Tesla, gave a nice talk on Akka Actors and Akka streams and the use cases and guidelines for both technologies and how and when you would integrate both to use actors to process workload running through the Actors streams.


In summary, it was an amazing experience to learn a lot of things in a very short time, meeting many smart people and enjoying friendly conversation where you learn from others who might have had different experience and use case other than the ones you got exposed to, even if this is not the case, you would still benefit from the sanity check.

Looking forward to the Reactive Summit 2018.


Those are my personal views and not representing the people I worked with, the companies I worked for, or my/our past and present customers in any shape or form. Any resemblance to real life use cases or situations is accidental and not intentional in any way, shape or form.

Hope this is helping some and again I understand other’s experience and views could be completely different than mine and I completely respect that.