May 3 • 1HR 15M

#7 Brian Chambers (Chief Architect at Chick-Fil-A) - Technology Powering Fast Food, Enterprise Architecture, Edge Compute Use Cases, How New Technology is Adopted in Enterprises

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Shomik Ghosh
A podcast series exploring all things enterprise software. We'll interview experts from all areas of company building, the enterprise buyer perspective, investors viewpoints and deep dive into specific technology trends.
Episode details

Brian Chambers is the Chief Architect at Chick-Fil-A, which is one of the fastest growing fast food restaurants in the US. Brian has been with Chick-Fil-A for 19 years, where the company has gone from $1B to $19B in sales (a nice 19x in 19 years). He’s seen the software architecture evolve from through various technology shifts such as datacenter to cloud, mobile, edge compute, and much more. He joins us today to talk about Chick-Fil-As architecture, how the backend technology maps to real business use cases, and how Architects approach impacting the tech stack especially as waves of technology are occurring. In this episode we talk about managing legacy and cloud systems, when to use new technology vs when to keep something running the same, real edge compute use cases, experimenting with LLMs, and many more areas. For those who are curious as to how a software org works and affects business outcomes in a large enterprise, this is the episode for you.

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In this episode, we cover:

(00:43) - Brian’s Background

(02:34) - Chick-Fil-A’s Growth Over Past 19 Years from $1-$19B in Sales

(05:41) - Phase Shifts in CFA’s Tech Stack (datacenter, colo, cloud, edge computing)

(09:41) - Managing Fallbacks for Operationally Critical Workflows

(12:07) - Balancing Legacy Systems with Modernization

(19:25) - Preventing the Undisciplined Pursuit of More Technology for the Sake of It

(23:49) - What is the Role of Software Architects in an Enterprise?

(28:15) - How the Business Architecture & Tech Architecture Groups Collaborate

(30:54) - Managing Technology Waves & How to Stay Close to New Tech

(36:29) - How Storytelling Helps With Business Resource & Capital Allocation Decisions

(40:48) - Simple vs Future-Proofed Technology Tradeoffs

(44:12) - What is Edge Computing

(46:27) - What Kubernetes on the Edge (in restaurants!) Enables

(54:57) - Dealing with Downtime and Hardware Issues with Edge Compute

(101:30) - LLMs in the Enterprise

(105:49) - How Founders Can Sell Into Large Enterprises

(110:57) - Does Vertically Packaged Software Help w/ Enterprise Sales vs Horizontal

(113:16) - Favorite Technology

(113:52) - Favorite Snack

Additional Show Notes:

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