Alex Balazs on Scalable Services at GlueCon 2016

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Break Up the Monolith: How Intuit is Disrupting a Decades-Old Codebase with Scalable Services - Alex Balazs

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  • Introduction (2 min.)

    Its great to be here – thank you for having me

    Briefly describe your role, background, number of years with Intuit
  • Technology’s case for change:

    The business ecosystem in 2016 moves fast
  • Today we work in an industry where businesses constantly get disrupted; we need to be agile in order to stay competitive
  • Applications are moving from desktop to cloud
  • Big Data is changing technology experiences
  • Complex user experience
  • Innovator’s Dilemma: If it makes money, why change it?
    With the technology environment today, you can’t rest on your laurels.
    However, change is a risk. Innovators have to make a case for adapting.
  • Transition –

    Before I get started, first a little about Intuit

    Intuit is built around a single, core mission: improving financial lives so profoundly they can’t imagine going back to the old way.

    By serving our customers, we have grown to become a premier innovative growth company





  • Intuit is the world’s leading provider of financial solutions for individuals and small businesses. 

     



  • Intuit is the world’s leading provider of financial solutions for individuals and small businesses. 

     We serve 37M customers.
     Revenue of $4.2B in FY2015.
     Employ over 7,700 people around the world.  
     With offices in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., India, Singapore, France, Brazil, Australia and Israel.

    TRANSITION TO TURBO TAX PRODUCT

  • HERE TO TALK ABOUT A PRODUCT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF – TURBO TAX

    BUT FIRST I WANT TO TAKE YOU BACK - BACK TO 1993
  • CLICK MOUSE FOR 1993 BANNER TO DISSAPEAR

    PRESIDENT CLINTON WAS IN OFFICE –

    SEINFELD, THE X FILES AND ROSEANNE RULED THE TELEVISION

    PETE SAMPRAS WON WIMBELTON

    JURRASIC PARK RULED AT THE BOX OFFICE

    AND AMERICA FELL IN LOVE WITH BEANIE BABIES

    OH, AND THIS WAS ALSO THE YEAR TT WAS FIRST MADE AVAILABLE



  • TurboTax
    We’ve moving to the cloud - e.g. QBO 1 million + subscribers
  • TurboTax
    Built on a 20 year old technology stack
    Mobile, web, desktop - with high mobile usage

  • Advancing our technology was a necessity:
    TurboTax has 3 generations:
    1st generation – Digital tax forms
    2nd generation - Interview-based tax filing questions
    3rd generation - Personalized experiences
  • Advancing our technology was a necessity:
    Ex: If you’re an 18 year old barista from NYC, do you collect CA railway requirement?
  • We need to build product of the future on a platform of the future

    Easier said than done

  • We need to build product of the future on a platform of the future
    Easier said than done
    Solving tax is complex.
    2 failed prior re-platforming experiences at Intuit, and we’re now on a multiyear journey

    Gall’s Law: A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.

    Solving tax is complex.

    2 failed prior re-platforming experiences at Intuit, and we’re now on a multiyear journey


  • Aaron Levie CEO and co-founder of Box… 100M terabytes in the cloud, successfully pivoted from consumer to enterprise by focusing on delighting end customers and providing control for IT.
    Rick Dalzell was the CIO of Amazon from 1997-2007…
    Andy Jassy at Amazon since 2003. Has led since the early days. Estimated to be $5B this year up from $3.1B last year. Moving faster than any of the competitors.
  • Existing technology limitations make it very difficult (and often impossible) for us to deliver high-quality, innovative, and responsive products at scale so we can build a durable advantage

    Our objective is to lead a technology stack refresh that delivers breakthrough experiences and explosive growth by enabling our workforce to deliver the best work of their lives – and making tax prep obsolete.

  • Implementing Node: Don’t talk about the benefits, show it

    The proof is in the code. We needed to prove Node.js would work, so we ran an experiment.

    Intuit “Pirate Ship” example: We built the narrowest slice of tech stack and created a “pirate ship.”
    By building an E2E experience in 2 months with PM, PD, UX, and engineers, we proved it would work.
  • Bridging the new technology to the old technology
    Bag on the side vs. Bag in the middle
    Example: ACA Intuit
    ACA was a new topic for TY 14. We had to ask ourselves: Do we use old or new technology? We took a risk, and decided it would go on the new stack. It allowed us to prove we can build something better on the new stack.
    End user example using ACA.
  • Recap (2 min.)
    It’s difficult to create a complex platform from scratch. Start simple and it will evolve to complex.
    Break up the monolith one service at a time with Node.js.
    Over-communicate the burning platform to developers.
  • Alex Balazs on Scalable Services at GlueCon 2016

    1. 1. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 1 Alex Balazs May 25, 2016 Break Up the Monolith: How Intuit is Disrupting a Decades-Old Codebase with Scalable Services
    2. 2. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 2 VP Fellow Architect TurboTax 16+ years at Intuit Alex Balazs
    3. 3. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 3 Technology’s Case for Change
    4. 4. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 4 Business Ecosystem
    5. 5. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 5 Agility
    6. 6. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 6 Cloud
    7. 7. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 7 Big Data
    8. 8. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 8 Complex User Experience
    9. 9. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 9 If it makes money, why change? Complacency = irrelevance Change = risk Innovator’s Dilemma
    10. 10. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 10 Our Mission To improve our customers’ financial lives so profoundly… they can’t imagine going back to the old way
    11. 11. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 11 World’s leading provider of financial solutions for individuals and small businesses
    12. 12. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 12 4.2B Revenue 37M Customers 27 Locations 7,700 Employees
    13. 13. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 13 Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 13
    14. 14. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 14
    15. 15. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 15 Moving to the Cloud
    16. 16. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 16 Built in 1993 TurboTax’s Dilemma Built on a 20 year old technology stack
    17. 17. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 17 1st generation Digital tax forms A Technology Necessity 3 Generations 2nd generation Interview-based questions 3rd generation Personalized experiences Hello again!
    18. 18. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 18 “I’m an 18 year old barista from NYC…”
    19. 19. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 19 A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system. Gall’s Law We cannot replace TurboTax by creating another complex system from scratch.
    20. 20. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 20 Tax is complex… Two failed attempts …
    21. 21. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 21 How we did it
    22. 22. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 22 Learning from the Best Wheelmakers
    23. 23. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 23 Everything as a Service
    24. 24. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 24 Everything as a Service Technology that empowers us and others to quickly create amazing, frictionless experiences Self-service, leveraging the contribution of others, concept to production in minutes Customer-back, across Intuit and third-party experiences Powerful, creating durable advantage
    25. 25. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 25 Intuit Confidential and Proprietary • Build, test and release services and product experiences independently. • I can consume someone’s service without having to convene a meeting. Services Deliver Speed When … Teams can work at their own clock speed Services are built for others • They have a standard contract. • They are scalable and secure. • They are discoverable & easy to use.
    26. 26. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 26 Attack the Monolith
    27. 27. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 27
    28. 28. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 28
    29. 29. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 29 Bridging Old & New Technology
    30. 30. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 30 Common Application Fabric Native App Shell UI View Management Semantic UI Widget Runtime (Fuego) Native UI Widget Runtime (Web, iOS, Android, Win, Mac…) CMS UI Widget Runtime (Web Templates) Other UI Widget Runtime (Legacy, New …) Common Client-side Utility Modules Data Mgmt Security Logging Perf Profiling Beaconing AppRuntimeManager UI Widget Orchestration Web Future PlatformsiOS Android Win Mac
    31. 31. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 31 1. Everything as a Service 2. Attack the monolith – One pirate ship at a time 3. Build Common Application Fabric Once Summary
    32. 32. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 32 Questions?
    33. 33. Intuit Confidential and Proprietary 33 Thank you! Alex_Balazs@Intuit.com @AlexGBalazs

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