Salt Lake Software Symposium

May 3 - 4, 2019

Metaphysics of Software Design

Friday - May 3 10:45 AM - PARLEYS

Matt Stine

Matt Stine

Global CTO - Software Architecture at Pivotal


According to Wikipedia, metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the essence of a thing. This definition invites the question, “Does software design have an essence?” And if it does, would the discovery and understanding of this essence lead to a fundamental improvement in our ability to build well-designed software? Does design matter? What exactly is the design of software? Can we point to it? Or is it something immaterial?

These are the types of questions that I want to confront in this session. We’ll draw inspiration from various individuals, from Don Norman to Fred Brooks to Jack Reeves to Christopher Alexander. We’ll consider their explorations of design, both in and out of the software realm. But ultimately, we’re going to have a conversation inspired by the Dialogues of Plato, and each iteration of this session will arrive at its own conclusions.

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About Matt Stine

Matt Stine is an 18 year veteran of the enterprise IT industry, with nine of those years spent as a consulting solutions architect for multiple Fortune 500 companies, as well as the not-for-profit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He is the author of Migrating to Cloud-Native Application Architectures from O'Reilly, and the host of the Software Architecture Radio podcast.

Matt is obsessed with the idea that enterprise IT “doesn’t have to suck,” and spends much of his time thinking about lean/agile software development methodologies, DevOps, architectural principles/patterns/practices, and programming paradigms, in an attempt to find the perfect storm of techniques that will allow corporate IT departments to not only function like startup companies but also create software that delights users while maintaining a high degree of conceptual integrity. He is currently the Global CTO of Architecture at Pivotal, and spends much of his time advising IT leadership on the effective adoption of cloud-native architectures.

Matt has spoken at conferences ranging from JavaOne to OSCON to YOW! and is a nine-year member of the No Fluff Just Stuff tour. Matt is also the founder and past president of the Memphis Java User Group.