Beyond Platform Thinking at RB Global – Build Things No One Expects, in a Place No One Expects It

Ever wondered what is it really like to move from a poorly integrated COTS legacy architecture to a well factored API driven cloud native platform and event driven architecture, globally deployed in AWS EKS with modern observability and daily software releases? Come join us as we review the cloud native modernization journey at RB Global.

As the leader in the global heavy equipment, agriculture, and salvage automobile auction marketplace RB Global had grown organically and through a disparate set of acquisitions, some integrated and some running side by side others. The resulting systems architecture was complex, prone to failure and required a linear growth in personnel to grow the business. While enjoying record growth we realized we needed to drastically simplify our systems and processes and drive higher margins and release a much faster growth potential. 

Our strategy was to simplify a very complex spider web of non-cloud native  SAAS and homegrown systems into a well factored API driven platform with well-defined domain boundaries, appropriate team topologies and an engineering enablement/delivery infrastructure to maximize engineering productivity. Leveraging that platform, we now can drive a multitude of end user and internal customer experiences with a small efficient engineering footprint. 

Is there anything specific that you'd like people to walk away with after watching your session?

A better understanding of the choices and tradeoffs necessary to make progress at a systems and people level, some insights into what went well and what we’d do differently the next time . We’ll also focus on some key decisions and investments that paid much higher returns than anticipated, from modern observability to leveraging new innovative patterns for infrastructure provisioning and delivery infrastructure. 

How would you describe your main persona and target audience for this session?

Leaders looking for real world examples of transformation, from staff engineers and leads, to CTOs and Senior Engineering leaders. We’ll have something for everyone. 


Ranbir Chawla

SVP of Engineering @RB Global, Previously SME @Thoughtworks Digital Platform Strategy Team, 30+ Years in Software Engineering and Entrepreneurship

Ranbir is an experienced creator, technical leader and entrepreneur with over 37 years of experience building and leading global engineering teams. From global supply chain to global web scale digital advertising, Ranbir has leveraged distributed architectures and highly effective engineering teams to deliver maximum innovation and high return for his investors.

Before joining Ritchie Brothers, Ranbir was a founding member of the Thoughtworks Digital Platform Strategy team specializing in Delivery Infrastructure and Engineering Enablement for 5 years.

While at Ritchie Bros, Ranbir has been successfully leading a full-scale digital transformation and legacy mitigation program for the largest global heavy equipment, agricultural and salvage auto auction marketplace, RB Global.

Ranbir is also an experienced presenter at both technical and executive strategy conferences, most recently Stripe Sessions.

Read more
Find Ranbir Chawla at:


Monday Apr 8 / 10:35AM BST ( 50 minutes )


Fleming (3rd Fl.)


architecture Legacy Mitigation Real World API Strategy platforms


From the same track

Session Data Architecture

Architecting for Data Products

Monday Apr 8 / 01:35PM BST

Data Mesh principles have brought data products to the forefront of data architecture discussions. However, due to the variety of applications and the vast technology landscape, it is hard to bring those principles into practice.

Speaker image - Danilo Sato
Danilo Sato

Global Head of Technology - Data & AI @Thoughtworks, Author of DevOps in Practice, CD4ML, and DataIQ UK’s 100 Most Influential People in Data in 2022–2023


Everything Is a Plugin: How the Backstage Architecture Helps Platform Teams at Spotify and Beyond Spread Ownership and Deliver Value

Monday Apr 8 / 03:55PM BST

Back in 2014, platform engineers at Spotify identified a problem: the number of internal tools was growing rapidly, and as a result engineers around the company were struggling to find the tools and information they needed to work efficiently.

Speaker image - Pia Nilsson
Pia Nilsson

Director of Engineering @Spotify

Speaker image - Mike Lewis
Mike Lewis

Staff Engineer @Spotify

Session platforms

How We Created a High-Scale Notification System at Duolingo That Delivered Millions of Messages Within Seconds During a Super Bowl Commercial Break

Monday Apr 8 / 02:45PM BST

Building a notification system may seem trivial, but what about building one that could reach million of users within a few seconds? What about doing that right after your advertisement airs?

Speaker image - Vitor Pellegrino
Vitor Pellegrino

Site Reliability Engineering @Duolingo

Speaker image - Zhen Zhou
Zhen Zhou

Software Engineer at @Duolingo, Previous Theoretical Computer Science Enthusiast @CMU


Unconference: Architectures You've Always Wondered About

Monday Apr 8 / 05:05PM BST

An unconference is a participant-driven meeting. Attendees come together, bringing their challenges and relying on the experience and know-how of their peers for solutions.


0 → 1, shipping Threads in 5 months

Monday Apr 8 / 11:45AM BST

In Jan 2023, we received word that we’d need to build a microblogging service to compete with Twitter in a couple of months. This is the (technical) story of the small team that was assembled to take on that challenge, and that shipped a new social network in July.

Speaker image - Zahan Malkani
Zahan Malkani

Software Engineer @Meta