104. Replay of Ep. 39 – The Birth of NoSQL and DynamoDB


We present to you a remastered and re-released version of one of our early shows from 2018. It was one of our most popular shows of all time, and in it, Chris Hickman recounts his story of being a Microsoft employee dealing with issues of internet scaling in the late 90s to becoming one of the pioneers of NoSQL. Listen to this series to get to know Chris. These are the formative years of the guy who made Mobycast possible with his incredible depth and breadth of development experience.

Show Details

Chris Hickman and Jon Christensen of Kelsus and Rich Staats from Secret Stache offer a history lesson on the unique challenges of data at “Internet scale” that gave birth to NoSQL and DynamoDB. How did AWS get to where it is with DynamoDB? And, what is AWS doing now? 

Some of the highlights of the show include:

  • Werner’s Worst day at Amazon: Database system crashes during Super Saver Shipping
  • Amazon strives to prevent problems that it knows will happen again by realizing relational database management systems aren’t built/designed for the Internet/Cloud
  • Internet: Scale up vs. scale out via databases or servers; statefulness of databases prevents easy scalability
  • Need sharding and partitioning of data to have clusters that can be scaled up individually
  • Amazon’s Aha Moment: Realization that 90% of data accessed was simplistic, rather than relational; same thing happened at Microsoft – recall the Internet Tidal Wave memo?
  • Challenge of building applications using CGI bin when Internet was brand new
  • Solution: Build your own Internet database; optimize for scalability 






AWS re:Invent 2018 – Keynote with Andy Jassy

AWS re:Invent 2018 – Keynote with Werner Vogels

Oracle Database

Bill Gates’ Internet Tidal Wave



Secret Stache Media

End Song

Whisper in a Dream by Uskmatu

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