Episode 146: Agile, Architecture and Technology with Rebecca Parsons

Tony and Craig are at YOW! Conference in Brisbane and catch up with Rebecca Parsons, the Chief Technology Officer at ThoughtWorks and the co-author of “Building Evolutionary Architectures: Support Constant Change” and chat about the following:

  • Rebecca’s keynote talk at YOW! “The Past and Future of Evolutionary Architecture
  • Evolutionary Architecture is the next stage on applying Agile practices to software development at the systems level and be able to respond to changes in the environment that affect the architecture
  • Need to determine for your system what constitutes good, fitness functions are the documentation and tests to ensure your system meets those characteristics
  • Need to move the needle on architecture, need to develop tools and techniques to decompose the role
  • Agile Alliance is looking at what it means to truly be an international organisation (there are now affiliates in Brazil and New Zealand), expanding conferences from the large North American conference to OnAgile and Deliver:Agile and member initiatives to support local events such as Agile Open Space, Agile Conference Sponsorship, Community Group Support Initiative and Speaker Reimbursement
  • YOW! CTO Summit talk “The CTO is Dead: Long Live the CTO
  • CTO role is more now to set technical direction by setting up communication channels to mine insights that can be rolled out and presented to the market
  • ThoughtWorks Tech Radar started as a hot technology list of what ThoughtWorkers would love to work on, became a visual radar that is now released twice a year, starts with 250-300 items and they try to get it down to 100 items, something will fade after being in the adopt ring more than twice, the radar is also available as an open source tool or radar as a service
  • Women leave technology at double the rate as men leave technology, mostly because they are not treated well in the environment
  • Anita Borg Institute Top Company for Women Technologists award
  • What does it mean to be Agile in new technologies like machine learning and data science?

TheAgileRevolution-146 (34 minutes)

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Episode 102: The Essence of Microservices (and Agile) with Scott Shaw

scottshawTony and Craig are at YOW! Conference and in the hallway ambush Scott Shaw, the Director of Technology (Australia) at ThoughtWorks and talk about the state of microservices and Agile:

  • Scott’s YOW! talk “Avoiding Speedbumps on the Road to Microservices
  • Microservices are just a different way to build applications that get away from monoliths
  • Beth Skurrie, Evan Bottcher, Jon Eaves case study at YOW! – “The Odyssey – From Monoliths to Microservices at realestate.com.au
  • Essentials for microservices include Domain Driven Design, security and identity and change management
  • Simon Brown talk at YOW! – “Agility and the Essence of Software Architecture
  • Cloud and infrastructure as code has changed the way we look at applications and have allowed microservices
  • The essence of Agile is the team taking ownership of the business success of whatever it is they are building and keeping that ownership over the longer term
  • Microservices take advantage of Conway’s Law – the teams closest to the systems should own them or change your structure to mimic the systems you want to look after
  • There should be no difference between maintenance and evolution – it is all one of the thing that goes towards the success of the business
  • Adrian Cockcroft defines microservices as “a service-oriented architecture composed of loosely coupled elements that have bounded contexts”
  • Microservices should be no bigger than a concept that fits in your head
  • Sam Newman book “Building Microservices
  • Agile approaches that are evolving include Docker and functional programming languages (especially Scala, Clojure and Go), the importance of craftsmanship and skills
  • Defending the Free Internet
  • ThoughtWorks Technology Radar
  • Microservices in a Nutshell by Martin Fowler and James Lewis

TheAgileRevolution-102 (28 minutes)

Episode 91: Coding The Architecture with Simon Brown

SimonBrownCraig and Tony talk to Simon Brown at the YOW! 2014 conference in Brisbane. SImon is the author of “Software Architecture for Developers”, creator of the C4 software architecture model and Structurizr. We tracked him down after his talk to talk about:

  • YOW! 2014 talk “Agility and the Essence of Software Architecture
  • Create a software guidebook as opposed to big upfront documentation
  • Tony is an old BA apparently… Explains a lot 🙂
  • If you can’t sketch out your architecture, you don’t understand it
  • C4 model was created after observations many archtecture drawings don’t make sense
  • Tony shows his age again by referencing Mr. Squiggle (video)
  • A tiny percentage of architects understand UML – do you teach them UML or teach them something simple?
  • Structurizr replaces drawing boxes in Visio or OmniGraffle, creates the C4 model from Java code and keeps it up to date, other implementations for C# have also been created
  • Suggest updating the diagrams at the end of every storycard
  • C4 starts at system context level, opens up to containers, zooms down to components inside containers and then down to the class level
  • Use the model to understand your microservices strategy versus monoliths (article by Rob Annett)
  • C4 is a drill down per system, does not have much to offer enterprise architects – can add an extra enterprise architecture layer if you wish
  • ArchiMate allows Enterprise Architects to model processes
  • We need Enterprise Architects but architects need to be involved in the day to day architecture including code (REA have a delivery engineering team that they spoke about at YOW!)
  • Roy Osherove’s Elastic Leadership – starting point is one architect but then get more people involved
  • Ask your team what an Architect does and you will probably get conflicting answers, it is a not well defined role
  • System Architect and Tech Lead are essentially the same thing

TheAgileRevolution-91 (28 minutes)