Friday, 13 March 2009

QCon London 2009 Conference Day 3

Today was the 3rd and final day of QCon London this year.

Pimp my Architecture with Dan North

Dan has a great presenting style, and during this presentation he emphasised the importance of the team Shaman, the team story-teller - and I think he proved himself to be one of the best through this presentation.

I really enjoyed this presentation, as it emphasised the importance of the oral tradition within a development team. And I do feel that is important, the best teams I have worked in have always had this, it meant that new team members came up to speed quickly on the quirks and history of a project, and really helped build the team.

I also enjoyed his 'Shanty Town' pattern - as opposed to the 'big ball of mud'. The truth is as he rightly points out, you just can't rush in and bulldoze, the people have to live somewhere - but you can work to improve it, piece by piece. You can build scaffolding or temporary architectures in the process of rebuilding the town.

Too much to convey it all or even a fraction, but I must say if you get the chance to hear Dan speak it is worth it, his energy and passion are contagious.

Thoughts on the Generic vs the Specifc Tradeoff with Stefan Tilkov

Stefan's talk was great, in particular my favourite snippet from his talk was:

The wise architect ...
question: *
answer: It depends.

And its so true.

Summing up his talk is difficult, as the two sides tend to cancel out, i.e. it depends. But it was good and he covered a lot of good specific versus generic examples.

Strategic Design with Eric Evans

Another really good talk, Eric covered some interesting perspectives on dealing with legacy systems, and the approach you could take in a pragmatic and progressive way. And along the way discussed various issues you need to deal with.

The strategic design comes from, making sure the most important parts of the system are well designed.

Some good points he made ..
  • One irresponsible programmer will keep any 5 top-notch programmers busy cleaning up after them.
  • The quality of the code is equiv to the second worst programmer on the team. (Not the worst, he is watched like a hawk)
  • Remember, the core domain is what makes the system worth writing.
  • Heroes work in the core domain (they make the system features the business needs and wants).
Why do irresponsible programmers so often become heros? Because they don't waste their time making other people more productive, they don't clean up other peoples mess, but they do produce new capabilities no matter the impact.

Five Considerations for Software Architects with Kevlin Henney

Well today turned into a treat, Kevlin was another good presenter, with a lot of information and some good techniques covered. The presentation was based around a visit to a pub where he and a couple of others (poor memory, cannot remember their names) and tried to distill 5 things every architect should take into mind. These distilled down to:
  • Economy - economy in code, in design and in architecture
  • Visibility - understanding not just the end product but how it came about
  • Spacing - the interesting thing is the space between the components not necessarily the components themelves
  • Symmetry - makes things easier to understand and maintain
  • Emergence - understand the emergent properties of the problem and the solution

Finally I attended the interview track for Stefan's interview of Ian Robinson and Jim Webber about REST and using the Web as an Integration platform. It was good to hear their views on REST and the pragmatic use of the web for machine-machine integration - I guess good because I agree with them.

A good day, and a good conference, I really enjoyed it - my brain is still soaking in a lot of what I heard - just need to let the R-mode chew on it a while :)

No comments: