A House of Cards: The dangers (and benefits) of third-party tooling

A presentation at CIVO Navigate NA 2024 in in Austin, TX, USA by Laura Santamaria

It’s lovely to build on top of other tooling so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, or even understand the physics of why the wheel is better than any other possible shape for moving forward. However, what if that tooling went down or disappeared from the internet all together? Do you understand how that tooling works, or, more importantly, why it was built in the first place? Many platforms have been built on third-party tooling without thinking about the full implications of what happens when different systems might go down, and those platforms fall apart when there’s an issue because the folks who built them don’t understand how that third-party tooling they relied on works in the first place. We want to avoid that reckoning, but how? How can we ensure that our systems aren’t just a house of cards waiting for one mistake to knock it down? Let’s talk about it.