Category Archives: Books

Building Evolutionary Architectures

Controlling the Fitness of Your Software Architecture!

In their book “Building Evolutionary Architectures”, N. Ford, R. Parsons and P. Kua introduce a new way to look at software architecture where changes to requirements become part of the business as usual. These concepts were already set in motion by Agile, DevOps and CI/CD but the authors add a refreshing concept to the mix.

How are we going to measure the suitability of our architecture compared to the every changing requirements?

The proposed solution lays in measuring how far or how close the characteristic of the current architecture are from the ideal or expected characteristics. The solution was inspired by statistical models were we want to fit a curve to a set of data points by fitting a function. An expression of the suitability of the curve’s function is called the fitness of such a function.

The same concept can be applied to software architectures. Required architectural characteristics a.k.a. as the technical *-abilities can be measured by fitness functions. When the architecture changes the impact is measured by these fitness functions and as a result the changes become quantifiable and controllable.

An architectural fitness function provides an objective integrity assessment of some architectural characteristic. Combining the outcomes of the collection of fitness functions gives a view on the overall architecture.

Making architecture capable of evolving requires 3 things:

  • An architecture that supports incremental change
  • An architecture that can be measured so the changes can be guided
  • An architecture with the appropriate level of coupling to allow for an optimal change process

More details on the topic can be found in:

Platform Recolution

The War on Eco-Systems and Platforms!

Whilst researching the structure, organization and benefits of business eco-systems, I came across two great books that I used as reference to create a POC for dynamic contracts:

  • Platform Revolution by Jeremy G. Philips
  • Platform Scale by Sangeet P. Choudary
  • Platform Ecosystems by Amrit Tiwana
Platform Recolution Platform Scale Platform Ecosystems

For the research I looked first into:

  • The value proposition of eco-systems
  • The opportunities and evolution of eco-systems
  • The building blocks to create eco-systems            

These all can be visualized by Platform Canvas Model i.e. a business model canvas for eco-systems.

A second part is on:

  • Eco-systems barriers and challenges
  • Where is the money or revenue in eco-systems

Finally we dive into:

  • The high-level architecture
  • The required micro-services and API’s
  • Business process overview and an architecture for dynamic contracts

Managing the Unmanageable

“When it comes to getting things done, we need fewer architects and more bricklayers”. In managing the unmanageable, Mantle and Lichty, explain how to run a software development team from hiring and firing to project inception and delivery. Interesting read for every project manager.

The book covers eight topics:

  1. Software Development is difficult
  2. Understanding Software Developers
  3. Finding and Hiring Great Programmers
  4. Getting New Programmers Started Off Right
  5. Effective Programming Manager
  6. Motivating Programmers
  7. Creating a Successful Programming Culture
  8. Successful Software Delivery

The Imposter’s Handbook

The Imposter’s Handbook by Rob Conery

The Imposter’s Handbook is a fun to read book. It starts from the idea that anyone without a Computer Science degree can get quickly into the most common concepts, slang and buzzwords used in the IT industry.

We all know that we use CS jargon (may-be BS jargon) to make things look more complex and to make us look smart.

The book claims to cover all the concepts of a CS degree which is a bit exaggerated but still a lot is covered. Topics are:

  • Computation
  • Complexity
  • Lambda calculus
  • Machinery
  • Bog O
  • Data structures
  • Algorithms
  • Compilation
  • Design patterns
  • Functional programming
  • DB’s
  • Testing
  • Unix
Connected Thinking

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Eric Schaeffer explains in his book how the industrialized world is changing and effecting the ways we should think about creating value. A lot has been written already on Industry 4.0 and to underline the fact his book is thinking beyond the next horizon, he called Industry 10 or “Industry X.0”.

I liked the ideas and examples he gave on moving from a product focused industry, over a client focused, towards a value focused industry. Consumers don’t want a product anymore they want a service and even an outcome. To repeat a well-known example: “Philips doesn’t deliver light-bulbs anymore but guaranteed illumination”.

An overview presentation of the major arguments you can find here;