Namely is a late-stage startup that builds HR, Payroll and Benefits software for mid-sized businesses. Over the years, we’ve ended up with a number of monolithic and legacy applications covering overlapping domain concepts, which has limited our ability to deliver new and innovative features to our customers. We need a way to get our data out of the monoliths to decouple our systems and increase our velocity. We’ve chosen Kafka as our way to liberate our data in a reliable, scalable and maintainable way. This talk covers specific examples of successes and missteps in our move to Kafka as the backbone of our architecture. It then looks to the future – where we are trying to go, and how we plan on getting, both from the short term and long term perspectives. Key Takeaways: – Successful and unsuccessful approaches to gradually introducing Kafka to a large organization in a way that meets the short and long term needs of the business. – Successful and unsuccessful patterns for using Kafka. – Pragmaticism versus purisim: Building Kafka-first systems, and migrating legacy systems to Kafka with Debezium. – Combining event driven systems with RPC based systems. Observability, alerting and testing. – Actionable steps that you can take to your organization to help drive adoption.