It’s an increasingly common scenario: As a company grows, it finds that it needs to move away from the monolithic software architecture that powered its initial success. The alternative? A microservices approach that provides more speed and flexibility.

That’s the story told by both our guests on the latest episode of The New Stack @ Scale Podcast: Tung Nguyen, vice-president of engineering at Bleacher Report, and our own Lee Atchison, principal cloud architect & advocate at New Relic.

Tung tells The New Stack founder and Editor in Chief Alex Williams and me the tale of how Bleacher Report scaled its infrastructure from a WordPress-style blog with 50,000 monthly unique visitors in 2007 to its current position serving as a premier sports site serving some 80 million uniques every month. He talks about the decisions they made and the misconceptions they struggled with along the way—and he reveals why a certain Miley Cyrus song best describes Bleacher Report’s journey.

tung nguyen lee atchison

Lee, meanwhile, shares how New Relic moved from a big, monolithic Ruby app to a distributed ecosystem with multiple different services and microservices, mostly running in Java—although the frontend is still in Ruby. (For more on our journey, watch New Relic engineering VPs Nic Benders and Matthew Flaming take you inside the process at FutureStack15.)

Plus, you’ll hear Tung and Lee offer insights into the following fascinating topics:

  • When scaling should end (hint: “hopefully never”)
  • Why Ruby shouldn’t get blamed for slow performance
  • How to organize a DevOps team
  • Why managing multiple services is like the War on Drugs
  • Why being a full-stack developer should be considered a “transitional phase” for junior engineers
  • The importance of having inexperienced devs on your team
  • What Facebook really means when it says “Move Fast and Break Things”
  • How microservices enables small teams of developers to do big things
  • Overcoming the psychological stress of moving to DevOps

All this and much more—including our guests’ reactions to Adrian Cockcroft talking about visualizing data models and dependencies—in this episode of The New Stack @ Scale Podcast.

New Relic is a sponsor of the New Stack @ Scale Podcast. However, the content and views expressed are those of the participants of the New Stack @ Scale Podcast, which is the property of The New Stack. Any views expressed on the New Stack @ Scale Podcast do not necessarily reflect the views of New Relic. By embedding the audio for the New Stack @ Scale Podcast or linking to The New Stack, New Relic does not adopt, guarantee, approve or endorse the information, views or products available on The New Stack site.

Read more about the podcast in Luke Lefler’s post on The New Stack: The New Stack @ Scale Podcast: How to Scale Beyond Your First 50,000 Users'

Fredric Paul (aka The Freditor) is Editor in Chief for New Relic. He's an award-winning writer, editor, and content strategist who has held senior editorial positions at ReadWrite,, InformationWeek, CNET, Electronic Entertainment, PC World, and PC|Computing. His writing has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Omni, Conde Nast Traveler, and Newsweek, among other places. View posts by .

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