Databases are everywhere, but did you ever wonder what goes on inside the box? In this talk we’ll dive into the internals of Neo4j - a popular graph database - and see how its designers deal with distributed systems challenges now and in the future. Borrowing heavily from the academic literature, we’ll see why computers are far too easy to program and why oppositely distributed systems are far too hard. We’ll follow that with some approaches to making distributed systems safer and contrast that with conflicting approaches that make systems more scalable! If that doesn’t sound nightmarish enough, we’ll finish up by showing how we can build systems that are safe and scalable by borrowing and gluing together a bunch of ideas from folks who are smarter than me. Come experience the last 10 years of my harrowing day job in less than an hour. You might even enjoy it, or at least empathise!