Managing Software at Scale: Kelsey Hightower Talks with Niklas Gustavsson about Fleet

October 5, 2023 Published by Spotify Engineering

How does Spotify manage a sprawling tech ecosystem made up of 500+ squads managing over 10,000 software components in production? Last November, Google Cloud distinguished engineer Kelsey Hightower met with Spotify chief architect Niklas Gustavsson at Spotify’s office in Gothenburg, Sweden, to talk about just that. 

Watch the video below to hear the two go deep on what it’s like to build at Spotify scale — and learn how Fleet Management doesn’t just keep our software ecosystem healthier and more secure, it also helps us improve developer effectiveness by decreasing engineering toil.

Kelsey and Niklas touch on a wide range of topics in their hour-long chat, including: the evolution of Spotify’s squad model, the importance of clear ownership (whether it’s for an entire component, a dependency, or just owning a single change to a component), the things devs still just have to learn the hard way as part of becoming a better developer, the way Backstage unifies software management by creating a centralized, cohesive UX for your tech ecosystem, the business value of investing in developer experience, making Fleet Management an everyday tool that any team can use, and lots, lots more.

Watch the video to learn more about:

  • Evolving the squad model 
  • Moving up the stack
  • Shifting to a fleet-first mindset
  • Monorepos vs polyrepos
  • Managing the fleet
  • Ownership and fleetwide changes (and Log4j)
  • Building consensus for large architectural changes
  • Plugging into Backstage
  • Investing in developer experience
  • The future of Fleet Management

Read more about Fleet Management at Spotify on the blog:

Hear more on the NerdOut@Spotify podcast: