Salt Lake Software Symposium

May 3 - 4, 2019

Architecture: The Hard Parts

Friday - May 3 8:45 AM - WASATCH 1

Neal Ford

Neal Ford

Director / Software Architect / Meme Wrangler

Architecture has lots of difficult problems, many revolving around modularity and granularity. This session delves into many of the hard parts in architecture and makes many of the problems softer.

Architects often look harried and worried because they have no clean, easy decisions: everything is an awful tradeoff. Architecture has lots of difficult problems, which this talk highlights by investigating what makes architecture so hard. At the of core many architectural problems: getting good granularity, which we illustrate via event-driven architectures, teams, components, architectural quantum, and a host of other examples. We also illustrate reuse at the application, department, and enterprise level, and why /reuse/ seems simple but isn't. We also discuss difficult decisions, how to do tradeoff analysis, tools like MECE lists, and how to decouple services to achieve proper granularity. Architecture is full of hard parts; by tracing the common reasons and applying lessons more universally, we can make it softer.

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About Neal Ford

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 He welcomes feedback and can be reached at