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Kafka for Microservices – You Absolutely Need Avro Schemas!

Whether you are deploying a new application in Microservices or transitioning from a monolithic database application to a cloud-ready architecture, you will inevitably face the decision of either creating a service mesh of API’s – or – using an event bus for better durability, reliability and extensibility of your application. If you choose to go the event bus route, Kafka is an excellent choice for several reasons. One key technology not to overlook is Avro Schemas. They provide a definition for your event payload, just like an API, to ensure all of the event consumers can reliably consume the events. They also handle schema evolution as requirements change and much, much more.

In this talk we will discuss all the nuances and considerations around using Avro Schemas for your JSON event payloads. From developer tools, to DevOps approaches, versioning, governance and some “gotchas” we found when working with Avro Schemas and the Confluent Schema Registry.


Gerardo Gutierrez Villeda

Gerardo Gutierrez Villeda was born in Mexico, earned his bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, and started his career writing code. He has worked at SEI for 20 years and is currently a senior enterprise architect, where he helps define governance, standards, best practices, and the patterns that the SEI development community adopts. He is focused on building a distributed event streaming platform that integrates various heterogeneous systems using Apache Kafka, Kafka Connect and Confluent Schema Registry. Gerardo is a Confluent Certified Developer for Apache Kafka, AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, and an AWS Certified Developer – Associate.

Steven Sermarini

Steven is a senior enterprise architect for SEI. He provides architecture leadership, guidelines, stewardship, and governance for the platform, and is a thought leader on monolith towards service-oriented architecture (SOA) and microservices. He has led an event-based Architecture movement (streaming, event bus, and event storming), driving enterprise-wide technology vision through target state architecture solutions. He also helps lead the R&D and enterprise stream aggregation efforts. Prior to joining SEI, he was VP and chief data architect as well as interim VP of Engineering at Enterra Solutions. He was also a principal data architect who helped build an industry-leading behavior analytics framework that led to a successful startup exit (~$300 million). Steven holds a master’s degree, Master of Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, CPM-Project Manager from Boston University, and a B.S. from Wester Chester University of Pennsylvania.