- Writer, reviewer of many different types of arch
- How can you present your own arch well?
- what is your design? why is it good?
- why did you make certain design decisions?
- work together, joint effort
- cooporate treasonably
- which group will you be presenting to? what subgroups might
there be? you MUST be aware of this, because strategy
varies a lot
"Illusion of transparency" -- geeks are bad b/c we assume people
know what's in our head, how we got to the conclusions we did;
- works the other way too: bad at assuming we know what
someone else is thinking
"In-group bias" -- if you're in my tribe you get afree pass
Book "Software Systems Architecture" by Rozonski et al; how to
present architecture (nb: RWB thinks it's too defensive)
- Alternatives: what you considered and ruled out
- Effects: what does decision imply
- Evidence: here's why it's good
- Leaves them on high note...
Instead, proactive, explaining + constructive; idea and goal is
to open up discussion
- Design idea
- Design notes
- Issues, uncertainties
On giving advice: "triage" mentality focuses effort; don't focus
on stuff that's irretrievably broken, or just on slightly
- Recommendations: feel really strongly about
- Suggestions: useful, but not wed to them
- Observations: might lead you to other conclusions not
- Ground all in facts as much as possible
- Be sure to comment on good ideas/decisions too! Gives you cred
- Scale the review to the size and criticality of the project,
and whether it's early or late in the process
Agile has architectural impacts
- Does it support automation of acceptance tests
- How can domain rules be encoded to be testable?
- Ease of configuring? Reconfiguring?
- Delivered and deployed incrementally?
Develop features (tracer bullets) that touch multiple parts of
the system so you can exercise
Beware the technical stack; watch out for people who focus on
low level technical elegance; (CMW: I am... occasionally guilty
Merging existing systems (like product lines) is REALLY hard!
- hidden requirements in developer heads, code
- what's your migration strategy?
(CMW: this is like large scale, deep context switching)
Risks compound: do not underestimate; even if no single risk is
big the cumulative effect can be huge.
Ensure right people are involved. Sometimes tribes don't talk,
or are unsure of trade-offs.
Questions for reviewers:
- Can focus some questions for different reviewers, along
with some for all.
- Are your questions yes/no? (aka, open/closed) do they lead
to discussion or decision? (which do you want?)
- gives columbo example here, funny visualizations in my
- Some other types of questions:
- evaluation (how good do you think...?)
- accuracy (how did you come up with numbers...?)
- completeness (is that all...?)
- relevance (does this apply...?)
- purpose (why did you suggest...?)
- extension (tell me more about...)
- No response in meeting? How long to wait? Bob Powers says
"count to 9..."
- Clarifying questions:
- why do you say that...?
- what exactly do you mean by...?
- how does this relate to...?
Handling criticism, different types:
- "great!" (code for: "they didn't really look at it...")
(she has a paper on her website about criticism types)
Disagreement hierarchy: paulgraham.com/disagree.html
People make decisions based on what they remember! (not some
objective evaluation of truth) So what will they remember of your
- People remember what they hear first and what they see
- People cannot avoid compariing things to one another,
vs a fixed standard.
- To be persuaded, we listen, compare, reconcile, ...