DDD Europe 2024 - Program

The change starts now: Accelerating Essent’s Future with Domain Driven Design

DDD Foundations - Talk (25m)


Natalia Szymanska

Natalia Szymanska
Wednesday 29 from 14:30 until 14:55

The war in Ukraine and Europe’s support resulted in Russia shutting down most of its gas pipelines towards Europe in the fall of 2022. Europe had to prepare for the impact- energy prices skyrocketing and uncertainty in the market. Access to commodities such as gas and electricity became uncertain.

We at Essent, the largest energy provider of The Netherlands, have experienced the dynamic changes in the market firsthand and therefore understand the uncertainties faced by society. In the fall of 2022, there was a peak in the interest from our customers, leading to an increased traffic to our IT services. Routine requests, like checking gas or electricity prices, unexpectedly overwhelmed our systems causing a disruption that took us 1 week to recover from.

While our engineers worked on restoring the services of the website and mobile apps back to their full capacity, our leadership and product management received clear feedback regarding the state of our technical landscape. The increased customer interest in energy products highlighted the importance of our digital services. This was a clear motivation for us to change and raise the bar on the availability and the quality of our services. This shift in perspective empowered us to prioritize innovation and adaptability, ensuring that next time we exceed our customers' expectations, and the dynamic market won’t take us by surprise.

“How do we stay relevant and can adapt to the volatility and changes of the energy market?”

During our talk we will explain in detail what we did after the incident to make Essent a more resilient organization.

Why did we choose to adopt Domain Driven Design and re-architecture our systems iteratively towards a loosely coupled architecture? How did we approach introducing this at a large-scale legacy organization? What challenges did we face during the transformation, and how did we address them? Why did we consider fundamental to further invest in our engineers and our engineering culture?

At the end of the talk you will have a clear picture of how a legacy organization can future proof itself, and how practices such as Domain Driven Design can play a pivotal role in it.

About Natalia Szymanska

Natalia Szymanska, a Product Owner at Essent, is part of a team at the forefront of Essent's Domain Driven Design (DDD) transformation, incorporating Event Driven Architecture (EDA). With a foundation in Electrical Electronic Engineering (EEE), Natalia's passion for streamlining operations and crafting effective processes and systems unfolded as she transitioned towards integrating systems and propelling digital transformation projects.