Cadence: Uber’s Workflow Engine with Maxim Fateev

A workflow is an application that involves more than just a simple request/response communication. For example, consider a session of a user taking a ride in an Uber. The user initiates the ride, and the ride might last for an hour. At the end of the ride, the user is charged for the ride and sent a transactional email.

Throughout this entire ride, there are many different services and database tables being accessed across the Uber infrastructure. The transactions across this infrastructure need to be processed despite server failures which may occur along the way. 

Workflows are not just a part of Uber. Many different types of distributed operations at a company might be classified as a workflow: banking operations, spinning up a large cluster of machines, performing a distributed cron job.

Maxim Fateev is the founder of, and the co-creator of Cadence, a workflow orchestration engine. Maxim developed Cadence when he was at Uber, seeing the engineering challenges that come from trying to solve the workflow orchestration problem. Before Uber, Maxim worked at AWS on the Simple Workflow Service, which was also a system for running workflows. Altogether, Maxim has developed workflow software for more than a decade.

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