Friday, March 16, 2007

Agile architecture, fragile architecture? (speakers James Coplien and Kevlin Henney)

Man, are those two the new Laurel and Hardy or something? Because it was a to and fro of quick comments and jokes. Very effective in keeping everyone awake during the last session of the day. Since it was more of a variety show than a presentation, I did not write down as much as I should because they did tell a lot. I just cannot reproduce it here.

One thing that I wrote down was this. Architects like to design their architecture using some modeling piece of software, but to some drawing out that design becomes more important than the purpose for which the exercise was meant. James called that : using the rules of drawing instead of using the rules of construction to design an architecture.

Next Kevlin made the nice point that if we want developers to write good code, management sends them off to some language course like Java or C#. But even though we ask developers to write documentation, no manager sends his developers to a course like Comprehensive Writing or Writing 101. That is strange because the developer does gets harped on that the documentation is to technical, elaborate or condensed, etc, etc.

Last, they looked up Agile in the dictionary to show that designing an architecture does have a place in an Agile world. Agile in latin could mean : to be ready. How can you be ready as you decide (hard) things as you encounter them or how to be ready to handle a familiar problem in a consistent way if not with architecture.

Unfortunately, the session was really talking about software architecture and not enterprise architecture or information architecture and so on.

And so ends another illuminating day.

1 comment:

paultpreiss said...

Interesting points. Ive often thought it a shame that architects do not have to go through technical writing training. Considering that an architecture is most commonly expressed as a document, it should be required. Some of the documents Ive seen are pretty bad.

We are looking at requirements for this is a series of training courses the IASA is working on for architects.