Global Software Architecture Summit 2019 – episode V

This is the fifth, and last, episode in a series of posts reviewing the first Global Software Architecture Summit that took place in Barcelona the 10th of October. To see the whole list of episodes, please visit this.

Architectural Thinking

Mark Richards
Mark Richards

This talk, given by Mark Richards (@markrichardssa), was the best first class in Software Architecture that I have ever seen, and the best definition of what Software Architecture is that anyone might find out there. He also emphasized the natural existence of tradeoffs in every architecture alternative there is, and the key role of software architects in making explicit the prons and cons of them, in order to pick the one that fits in the scenario in hand.

So, should have you the opportunity to attend one of Mark’s courses, or attend to any of his talks, just go!

He also gave us the advice to spend the first 20 minutes of our days learning something, and in particular something we were not even aware that existed: the unknown unknowns. How could you learn about anything that you didn’t know that you did not know? Staying tune for what is said out there, in related media: podcats, blogs, aggregators, meetups, etc.

Effective Architecture Practices Debate

This third debate was moderated by Álvaro García (@alvarobiz), and the invitees on stage were Sandro Mancuso (@sandromancuso), George Fairbanks (@GHFairbanks), Juan Manuel Serrano (@juanshac), Carlos Blé (@carlosble), and Eoin Woods (@eoinwoodz).

Their interventions were eventually centered on how implement changes in architecture style in practice, with particularly wise advices from Sando Mancuso. For instance, it is always key to have a roadmap as an expression of a direction from now to where the organization envision to go, even though being concious that the straight line drawn in the roadmap is going to become a curvy road in real life.

Incidentally, someone mentioned the risk of overengineering that might arise when teams try out what influencers in technology are claiming. IMHO, this is a debate born out of a prejudice. In my more than 20 years in the profession, I only found one example of overengineering, whereas I had to struggle with plenty of examples of bad code, bad practices, or bad architecture. I am not saying overengineering is a fake problem, just that I feel like we should put our efforts on the 95% of the issues before facing the (being generous) 5% of them.

Choosing the Right Architecture Style Debate

The last debate, and the last session, of the event was moderated by Christian Cotes (@ccotesg) and had Alex Soto (@alexsotob), Viktor Farcic (@vfarcic), and Ana-Maria Mihalceanu (@ammbra1508) as guests.

Again, the debate circled around the adoption of microservices as architecture style, and more in general about how hard it seems to distinguish between what is hyped and what is reasonable. It was certainly a very lively conversation, mostly because of the funny style of Viktor Farcic, the author of the book “DevOps Paradox“.

Unfortunately, there was nothing new to add to what we had already listened during previous sessions: the microservices debate, and the fear of change some professionals exhibit, though they likely consider themselves wise and not fearful. Maybe the organizers should consider how to avoid this reiteration of topics in further editions of the event.

Data-Driven Scalability and Cost Analysis for Evolutionary Architecture In the Cloud

Between the two debates above, Ian Gorton presented the results of a study that the research team he leads in the University of Northampton in Seattle conducted to analyse how the cloud costs vary depending on the programming language, and also how those costs depend on which are the values we set in the scale configuration panels of cloud services.

In my opinion, was not a surprise that Go was the most performant programming language in Google Cloud, not because both are initiatives born at Google headquarters, but because Go community shows to have one, and only one, focus: performance.

No surprising neither that the default values suggested by Google Cloud were not eventually the cheapest. That is why companies which whole business model is help organizations reduce their cloud bills exist.

Copyright notice: Featured image taken from blog. Visit the blog for a full set of other enjoyable pictures.

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