An evolutionary architecture supports incremental, guided change along multiple dimensions.
For many years, software architecture was described as the “parts that are hard to change later”. But then microservices showed that if architects build evolvability into the architecture, change becomes easier. This talk, based on my upcoming book, investigates the family of software architectures that support evolutionary change, along with how to build evolvable systems. Understanding how to evolve architecture requires understanding how architectural dimensions interact; I describe how to achieve appropriate coupling between components and services. Incremental change is critical for the mechanics of evolution; I cover how to build engineering and DevOps practices to support continuous change. Uncontrolled evolution leads to undesirable side effects; I cover how fitness functions build protective, testable scaffolding around critical parts to guide the architecture as it evolves.
The software development ecosystem exists in a state of dynamic equilibrium, where any new tool, framework, or technique leads to disruption and the establishment of a new equilibrium. Predictability is impossible when the foundation architects plan against changes constantly in unexpected ways. Instead, prefer evolvability over predictability. This keynote illustrates how to achieve evolutionary architectures and how to retrofit existing systems to support better evolution.
Neal is Director, Software Architect, and Meme Wrangler at ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy with an exclusive focus on end-to-end software development and delivery.
Before joining ThoughtWorks, Neal was the Chief Technology Officer at The DSW Group, Ltd., a nationally recognized training and development firm. Neal has a degree in Computer Science from Georgia State University specializing in languages and compilers and a minor in mathematics specializing in statistical analysis.
He is also the designer and developer of applications, instructional materials, magazine articles, video presentations, and author of 6 books, including the most recent The Productive Programmer. His language proficiencies include Java, C#/.NET, Ruby, Groovy, functional languages, Scheme, Object Pascal, C++, and C. His primary consulting focus is the design and construction of large-scale enterprise applications. Neal has taught on-site classes nationally and internationally to all phases of the military and to many Fortune 500 companies. He is also an internationally acclaimed speaker, having spoken at over 100 developer conferences worldwide, delivering more than 600 talks. If you have an insatiable curiosity about Neal, visit his web site at http://www.nealford.com. He welcomes feedback and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.