Northern Virginia Software Symposium

April 12 - 13, 2019

6 Essential Architecture Practices

Friday - Apr 12 4:45 PM - MEETING ROOM 9/10

Mark Richards

Mark Richards

Independent Software Architect, Author of Software Architecture Fundamentals

Software architecture is hard. It is full of tradeoff analysis, decision making, technical expertise, and leadership, making it more of an art than a science. The common answer to any architecture-related question is “it depends”. To that end, I firmly believe there are no “best practices” in software architecture because every situation is different, which is why I titled this talk “Essential Practices”: those practices companies and architects are using to achieve success in architecture. In this session I explore in detail the top 6 essential software architectural practices (both technical architecture and process-related practices) that will make you an effective and successful software architect.

This session is broken up into 2 parts: those essential architecture practices that relate to the technical aspects of an architecture (hard skills), and those that relate to the process-related aspects of software architecture (soft skills). Both parts are needed to make architecture a success.

About Mark Richards

Mark Richards is an experienced, hands-on software architect involved in the architecture, design, and implementation of microservices architectures, service-oriented architectures, and distributed systems. He has been in the software industry since 1983 and has significant experience and expertise in application, integration, and enterprise architecture. Mark is the founder of, a website devoted to helping developers in the journey to software architect. He is the author of numerous technical books and videos, including several books on Microservices (O'Reilly), the Software Architecture Fundamentals video series (O’Reilly), Enterprise Messaging video series (O’Reilly), Java Message Service, 2nd Edition (O’Reilly), and a contributing author to 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know (O’Reilly). Mark has a master’s degree in computer science and numerous architect and developer certifications from IBM, Sun, The Open Group, and Oracle. He is a regular conference speaker at the No Fluff Just Stuff (NFJS) Symposium Series and has spoken at hundreds of conferences and user groups around the world on a variety of enterprise-related technical topics.