Software architecture workshop

by daniel on December 21, 2008

Last week I participated in a software architecture workshop organized by ILTAM. The workshop was in continuation with the workgroup I belong to introduce the concept of software architecture in the industry. You can read more in my previous posts: here, here and here.

The workshop was an introduction to software architecture methods and concepts, presented by Rick Kazman.  Although the seminar was labeled introduction, it provided enough insight to be able to understand and cohere knowledge most of us possessed. In addition, the workshop provided pointers for locating additional information for leveraging the little that was touched.

In personal perspective, the workshop gave me a formal structure for information I already knew instinctively. It provided the process and method for explaining the reasoning, so it can be done consistently whenever needed.  To be detailed in a future post, the workshop also provided insights in regards to quality attributes, also titled non functional attributes. The insight was that quality attributes guide the architecture in fundamental decisions much more than functional requirements.

For my current position as system engineer, this seminar gave me a clearer view of the priorities and the tasks to be done. In many ways, the architecture is a vehicle for sharing information so it correlates to the ongoing tasks of a system engineer. In addition, my position also enables me to analyze the system in these various parameters:

  • Quality attributes description
  • Fitness of architecture to requirements
  • Methods and tactics used
  • Overall understanding of the faults of the architecture

As part or in parallel to the analysis, I would like to improve some aspects of the current situation: documentation, understanding of tactics, and of course sharing the knowledge.

There are some limitations though: span of attention from the management, lack of resources and of course priorities of the many tasks to be done.

I believe that providing the right incentive and understanding of the benefits of having a clear depicted architecture will help us make a clear step forward in the overall quality of our products, but this is still to be proven and should not be taken for granted from being in a workshop.

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