Architecture Without an End State by Michael Nygard
ABOUT THE PRESENTER: MICHAEL NYGARD
Michael Nygard is the Vice President of Customer Solutions at Cognitect. Mike is the author of Release It!, and a contributor to Beautiful Architecture. Mike focuses on highly-available and scalable commerce systems but can often be found coding, writing, speaking, or thinking about how the Universe works.
Mike’s most recent projects at Cognitect include designing an architecture for an online P2P lending platform, advising one of the world’s largest financial services firms on their overall software direction, and designing a software defined data center for another financial services firm.
Mike’s background includes re-engineering and operating some of the most prominent – and busiest – web properties in the world, including Best Buy, American Airlines and Hyatt. Mike also architected the software used to process 60% of all school photos in the US. Mike wrote the original control software for the infrared astronomy instruments at the Keck Telescope in Hawaii and programmed ground-based GPS systems for the USAF.
Workshop: Architecture Without an End State
Architecture plans in enterprises tend to resemble late-night infomercials. First, you see a person or system that seems incapable of survival—a situation that can be immediately rectified if you just buy into the product. (One popular infomercial shows incompetent people mangling tomatoes transitioning into Ginsu-wielding sous chefs; the architecture pitch starts with hideous complexity then moves to clean orthogonal box diagrams.) Operators are always standing by.
Real architecture never reaches that blissful end state. Something always interrupts the program: businesses change, technology changes, or funding dries up. What would happen if you did reach the end state, anyway? Is IT in the company done? Of course not.
The truth is that there is no end state. We must all learn to build systems that evolve and grow. We need to stop aiming for the end state and understand that change is continuous. We cannot predict the details, but we can learn the general patterns.
Michael Nygard demonstrates how to design and architect systems that admit change—bending and flexing through time. Using a blend of information architecture, technical architecture, and some process change, Michael walks you through examples of rigid systems to show how to transform them into more maneuverable architecture.
This workshop includes both teaching and hands-on design sessions. Design sessions will be paper and whiteboard work in small groups. If you’re a developer or architect working with medium to large architectures and building applications in the context of existing systems or transitioning to new systems, this is the session for you.