That’s How Netflix is Built ✏️ Study With Me Series

Hi! I am Elya and as you might or might not know, I study Business Informatics, which is supposed to be a 1:1 blend of both business and informatics (shoutout to a naive 1st semester me who thought so) but is essentially Computer Science with a a few introductory lever economic modules.

Plus some interdisciplinary modules like the one I am writing next week. It is called “Application Systems” and the formal definition of application systems goes like this(now literally quoting my uni slides):

…software systems that directly support one or more business activities of an enterprise. 

Here you go, Business Informatics.

Application systems is best explained on the following Netflix example.

So Netflix has has 182.8 million subscribers, making it one of the world’s largest entertainment services. What does that mean? Well, a lot of cash but also millions of views during peak hours, on different devices, simultaneously.

How does Netflix do that? How does their software look like? Why and how did Netflix build it this way? How does Netflix make sure it works?

In a nutshell, Netflix (and most equivalent tech giants) has to build its ecosystem by considering the following things: 

  • distributed systems – components of their software reside on different nodes in the Internet
  • data processing – they have to process and store large amounts of data 
  • middleware – they need to integrate heterogeneous, old and new components, pieces written in different languages and executing in different runtimes
  • cloud services – they gotta use cloud for reasons such as cost efficiency and more
  • agile software development and DevOps – to deal with frequent changes and still be able to make reliable software
  • non-functional properties – like reliability and scalability have to be guaranteed

So how about studying with me? 

Over the course of the week (and after my exam), I am going to tell you about one topic at a time. This way I get a good exam prep and you get a sneak peek into what you could be learning at a German university. 

P.S. we will start tomorrow by looking at Middleware, what it is and why you need it.