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Ten Advices for Architects


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These are ten advices for Software Architechts.

These are ten advices for Software Architechts.

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  • 1. Eberhard Wolff, adesso AGTen Advices for Architects
  • 2. About me•  Eberhard Wolff•  Architecture & Technology Manager at adesso•  adesso is a leading IT consultancy in Germany•  Speaker•  Author (e.g. first German Spring book)•  Blog:•  Twitter: @ewolff••
  • 3. Why?•  Educating architects internally at adesso•  What should they know?•  What is the bare minimum?
  • 4. Software ArchitectSoftware architect is a general termwith many accepted definitionswhich refers to a broad range of roles. Not really well defined…
  • 5. Software ArchitectureThe software architecture of a system is the set of structuresneeded to reason about it, which comprise software elements, relations among them, and properties of both.
  • 6. Why We Care DefinesStructures PerformanceSoftware elementsnon-functionalRelationsProperties Availability Productivityrequirements & Software Architecture Maintainability quality Security Operations
  • 7. Software Architect: Responsibilities•  Manager•  Responsibility: non-functional requirements / quality•  Tool: Define and enforce architecture•  Functional requirements covered by requirements process•  Functional requirements influence the architecture
  • 9. Agile Development i.e. ScrumWhere is Scrum Master Removes obstacles Enforces rules theArchitect Stories ? Product OwnerCreates stories Team Self-organizing Implements stories
  • 10. You Are Not An Architect!•  No manager•  Need to convince not manage•  Therefore: Not that different from a developer•  More experienced•  More knowledge
  • 11. Is “Architect” a Good Metaphor?•  Buildings are physical entities –  Hard to change•  Construction industry is established•  …and has a long history•  Buildings can be fully specified•  Software can’t (see Agility)•  Clear separation: Architect vs. construction worker•  Common for a Software Architect to be a former developer•  …or even doing some coding
  • 12. Different Way to Think About 1999 Roles 2001
  • 13. Software Craftsmanship Manifesto (2009)•  As aspiring Software Craftsmen we are raising the bar of professional software development by practicing it and helping others learn the craft. Through this work we have come to value:•  Not only working software, –  but also well-crafted software•  Not only responding to change, –  but also steadily adding value•  Not only individuals and interactions, –  but also a community of professionals•  Not only customer collaboration, –  but also productive partnerships
  • 14. Architect as a Master Craftsman•  More experienced•  Knows the tools very well•  Guides and helps others•  Incorporates feedback•  Improves the craft•  Quality•  Will work on code•  But knows the bigger picture of the project•  Education and work on the project at hand
  • 16. Your Opinion Matters!•  You need to have your own opinion•  …about technologies•  …about architecture approaches•  Listen to opinions of others•  …but come up with your own•  Your responsibility
  • 17. •
  • 18. Your Opinion Matters!•  This applies to this conference•  …and this talk•  If it does not make sense to you –  say so•  Your opinion – your responsibility•  Even if someone is a speaker – he might still be wrong•  Never be intimidated!
  • 20. People Want to Improve!•  Technical people take pride in their skills•  …often also quality•  They want to improve and create great quality!•  Guide the way•  Define what quality is
  • 21. What You Can Do…•  Education•  Review•  Pairing•  Talks•  …
  • 22. What If They Don’t Want to Improve?•  You are screwed•  No way to create high quality with those people•  Ensure that they know what quality is and what is expected
  • 24. Architecture = Trade Off•  There are numerous ways to architect each system•  There is no one single right architecture•  Each architecture has strength and weaknesses•  Think about architecture in terms of Trade Offs•  Do they match your requirements?
  • 25. Example for Trade Off: Persistence•  Option: SQL –  More control –  Less infrastructure•  Option: O/R mapper –  Seemingly easier to use –  But a complex piece of technology•  Option: NoSQL –  A lot of options with individual strength and weaknesses
  • 27. Vocabulary•  Approaches to architecting a system•  Defines what kind of architectures and systems you can express•  The more you know the better you can do trade offs•  Will offer new perspectives on what you doing•  Also it is interesting to learn what others do
  • 28. How to Improve Your Vocabulary•  Patterns –  Fowler: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture –  Gamma et al: Design Patterns –  Buschmann et al: Patterns- Oriented Software Architecture –  Hohpe: Pattern of Enterprise Integration•  Evans: Domain Driven Design
  • 29. How to Improve Your Vocabulary•  Technologies –  How many Persistence approaches do you know? –  Should at least have a high level overview –  There is life beyond standards –  Can save a lot of time and effort•  Conferences•  Web Sites•  Reviews
  • 30. Again: Persistence•  “Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture” lists persistence approaches•  Ruby on Rails uses Active Record (i.e. objects can store themselves)•  myBATIS for easy persistence using SQL (Java / .NET)•  …
  • 32. Eat Your Own Dog Food!•  Defining an architecture is easy•  It is hard to create the right architecture•  Need feedback•  Eat your own dog food: Develop code yourself•  Do pair programming•  To become grounded
  • 34. Broken Windows Theory•  Once windows are not repaired…•  …vandals will break more•  …break into the building•  …•  Accepting compromises on quality is risky•  …but if you strive for ultimate quality everywhere, you will fail•  In particular with legacy software
  • 35. Broken Windows in Architecture•  Compromises on quality will become out of hand•  Might speed up a project for a limited time•  But: Will hurt productivity in the long run•  …and ultimately slow it down•  Higher quality can mean less cost and quicker delivery•  Metaphor: Technical debt•  Much like debt in real life
  • 36. But…•  There might still be broken windows•  There might be more and less skilled developers•  What do I do?
  • 38. Domain Driven Design•  “Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software”•  E.g. Ubiquitous Language for Code, Developers and Customers
  • 39. Strategic Domain Driven Design•  Bounded Context: Model used only in a specific part of the system•  Context Map: Translate models from different parts of the system•  Anti-Corruption Layer: Make sure the core domain is not corrupted
  • 40. Strategic Domain Driven Design•  Can be used to manage quality•  What are the core business domains?•  Focus on quality of those•  Isolate them from the rest of the system•  Let the best developer work on the most important parts
  • 41. Strategic Domain Driven Design•  Acknowledges that not all developers are equals•  …and not all parts of a system will have the same quality•  Allows you to steer which parts will be better
  • 43. Care About Architecture and Code•  You can draw diagrams until the end of time•  It’s the code and the architecture in the code that matters•  Architectures is only used to influence code
  • 45. Measure and Reduce•  No way to know all code by heart•  Still: You and the team need to understand the state of the project•  Need tools to measure and reduce information
  • 46. Sonar•  Server that integrates a lot of systems•  Static code analysis (Findbugs, PMD etc)•  Lines of Code, classes•  Test code coverage•  Complexity•  Historized i.e. easy to spot trends•  Easy to install•  Visit for examples
  • 47. Draw Conclusions!•  Do not try to enforce a certain value for a metric!•  Metrics are used to reduce information and get warning signs•  Use them to improve quality•  If you enforce a value mindlessly problems will be avoided – not solved•  …and measurements will become worthless
  • 49. Dependency Management•  Essential for measuring architecture•  i.e. what is the structure in the code?•  Why are Dependencies so important?
  • 50. What is Architecture?•  Architecture is the decomposition of systems in parts•  No large or complex parts•  No cyclic dependencies
  • 51. Normal Dependencies•  A and B might be packages or classes Component A•  B depends on A, i.e. it uses classes, methods etc. Component B•  Changes in A impact B•  Changes in B do not impact A
  • 52. Cyclic Dependency•  B depends on A and A on B Component A•  Changes in A impact B•  Changes in B impact A•  A and B can only be changed as one unit Component B•  …even though they should be two separate units
  • 53. Bigger cyclic dependencies Component A Component B Component C
  • 54. Measure Dependencies!•  …otherwise they will get out of hand•  Cyclic dependencies mean: –  It should be separated according to the architecture –  …but it is not•  JDepend – rather outdated•  Structure 101•  Sonargraph
  • 55. Care about You are Not an Architecture is Code and Quality Architect Trade OffArchitecture Measure and Eat your own No Broken Vocabulary Reduce Dog Food Windows Dependencies People Want Strategic Matter To Improve Design And Remember: Your Opinion Matters!
  • 56. Wir suchen Sie alsØ  Software-Architekt (m/w)Ø  Projektleiter (m/w)Ø  Senior Software Engineer (m/w)Ø  Kommen Sie zum Stand und gewinnen Sie ein iPad 2!