The title software architect comes with many connotations, and often these are not good. Developers think of hand-waivers who inhabit ivory towers and have forgotten how to write code. Project managers think of technologists who are chasing perfection in initiatives that are serving obscure technical purposes. Yet, for the success of any software project architecture is crucial. In this talk Erik will present his experience on how to address this issue, introducing techniques that help teams come up with good designs and sustainable architectures without the need for a superstar architect. Topics include evolutionary architecture, the seductive power of abstractions, vertical slicing, software visualisations, and the need to experience the consequences of decisions.
Our talk will begin with one of the core themes of the early development of agile software - that those involved in software development should take a more collaborative role, not just building software but helping to determine how software can help its users. We believe that this engagement requires greater knowledge of a user's goals and also responsibility for the user's welfare and our impact on the world. While the internet has brought great benefits in communication, it's also led to an unprecedented opportunity for mass surveillance, both by states and private corporations.
We'll discuss how defeating such surveillance requires greater security in our communication, reversing recent centralization, and attention to user experience. For the last year Erik has been leading a team to apply these principles to email. We will explain why the argument of "I have nothing to hide" is flawed and why it is our our responsibility to take up this task.
Agile development practices were well established at AutoScout24 when we embarked on a project to move from hosting in data centres to the AWS cloud. The move allowed us to build on our experience with agile development and become even more agile through some of the opportunities offered by a public cloud solution.
In this talk Philipp and Erik report on their first-hand experience on Tatsu, the project that transforms the existing, mature, IT setup into a next generation web-scale IT platform. They describe how the team benefited from elasticity beyond production by introducing elastic computing to development and data analysis tasks. They discuss how a cloud environment greatly helped with the restructuring towards “two-pizza” teams that work with a “you build it, you run it” mindset. Additionally, Philipp and Erik explain how architecture decisions that have an impact on infrastructure can be made more freely in a cloud environment, resulting in solutions that are a better fit for the problem.
Following the success of agile and lean principles for individual projects we are now seeing interest in applying the same principles across the entire enterprise. This brings agile and lean thinking to architecture groups, and raises questions around enterprise architecture and governance.
In this session Erik introduces the concept of evolutionary architecture and then discusses questions such as: How can an architecture strategy be executed in a lean context? What about conformance? And: where do the architects sit in a lean enterprise?
Software quality has an obvious external aspect, the software should be of value to its users, but there is also a more elusive internal aspect to quality, to do with the clarity of the design, the ease with which we as technologists can understand, extend, and maintain the software. When pressed for a definition, this is where we usually end up saying "I know it when I see it." But how can we see quality? This session explains how visualisation concepts can be applied at the right level to present meaningful information about quality. Different visualizations allow us to spot patterns, trends, and outliers. In short, they allow us to see the quality of our software. The tools and techniques shown are easy to apply on software projects and will guide the development team towards producing higher quality software.
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