How Much Architecture?


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How Much Architecture?

  1. 1. How much architecture?Reducing the up-front effort Michael Waterman, James Noble, George Allan Victoria University of Wellington Agile India 19 February 2012
  2. 2. “Architecture represents the significant design decisions thatshape a system, where significant is measured by the cost of change” [Booch 2006]
  3. 3. “Refactoring is wonderful,except when your refactoring tool is RM.” (P9)
  4. 4. “Design up-front: only as little as you can get away with” (P3)
  5. 5. “How much architecture?”• Requires qualitative research• Inductive• Grounded theory
  6. 6. Work done• Eleven interviews (and documentation)• New Zealand and UK• Variety of roles and project types
  7. 7. “Simplifying architecture design” Using predefined architectureHaving architecturalexperience simplifies decision making Simplifying architecture designIntuitive architectureBeing familiar with architecture
  8. 8. Using predefined architecture “…so that [CQRS] paper plus the Windows architecture guidelinesplus the off-the-shelf componentry that comes from Microsoft, it means we don’t write much! Which is good! (P2)
  9. 9. Using predefined architecture “What used to be architecturaldecisions ten years ago can now almost be considered designdecisions because the tools allowyou to change these things more easily” (P4)
  10. 10. Having architectural experience simplifies decision making“If you have a team of really, reallyexperienced professionals then youcan get away with a lot less [designup-front] because a lot of it is going to be implicit anyway.” (P3)
  11. 11. Having architectural experience simplifies decision making “Very often, if you’re experienced […] you could write down three options and you’d know if you do itthis way you’ll have these problems; you can make a value judgement more efficiently.” (P6)
  12. 12. Intuitive architecture “It was just something that I had to do!” (P1)
  13. 13. Intuitive architecture “…so because I know it needs to scale to 2000 users […] means that it’s got to be three tier, and meansthat instead of just writing it to a flat file I will have a database…” (P4)
  14. 14. Being familiar with architecture “Part of my current productivitymight be because I am working in asystem that is in an architecture that I’m very, very familiar with.” (P6)
  15. 15. Being familiar with architecture “[We] went out to find people who’ddone similar systems […] so we were ableto go them and [ask], what’s your archi- tecture, can we have a look at it, why have you made these decisions?” (P8)
  16. 16. Reducing up-front effort• Templates, pre-defined architectures lead to reduced up- front effort without sacrificing the benefits of a full up-front design• Experience, intuition, and familiarity lead to tacit knowledge, implicit design, judgement calls, focused effort
  17. 17. Michael WatermanVictoria University of Wellington, New Zealand