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Man working on code on a laptop
03/04/2019

Software Architecture, or how to make developments future-proof

Recently, delaware sent five brave young men to the far north (read: Stockholm, Sweden) to attend a high-quality software architect training. Read on to learn how this experience helps the #peopleofdelaware make software development future-proof and stay on top of the latest trends in software architecture.

What is a software architect?

The importance of an architect for a software implementation project can be compared with that of an architect for a construction project. It’s hard to imagine a construction worker building a house, based on an idea in his head or on a quick sketch on the back of a coaster. The value of consulting an architect to draw the building plans is in making sure the building is strong, secure and durable, while matching the expectations and requirements of the future owner. A software architect is likewise able to convert software characteristics such as flexibility, scalability, feasibility, reusability and security into a structured solution that meets the technical and functional expectations.

delaware makes its move

delaware fully acknowledges the necessity of an architectural role in its projects. Even though we are implementing an external software (SAP, Microsoft Dynamics,…) in most cases, which means limited architectural influence, the value of monitoring the bigger picture, guarding quality requirements and ensuring consistency over all projects is vital. That’s why delaware created the Technical Lead role within each solution. Their task is to survey all projects, making sure they comply to the newly set architectural guidelines.

Gaining insights from Juval Lowy

The new role of software architecture in our company didn’t grow from one day to the other. In order to raise awareness within all development teams, one technical colleague from each solution team was invited to attend Juval Lowy’s Architect Master Class. Juval Lowy, founder of IDesign and the instructor of this course, has mentored hundreds of architects around the globe. By sharing his insights, techniques, and breakthroughs in software architecture, he has already had a substantial influence in several large projects. For instance, he tutored the software architects behind successful applications such as Netflix and Amazon.

Juval Lowy kicked off the course with some hard facts: nowadays the average software implementation project is not delivered in time and easily goes over budget. Often the quality of the solution might be sufficient in the short term, but in the long run rework will be unavoidable due to mismatched requirements or inflexible developments. Like nuclear plant development, which was totally reinvented after the disastrous events in Chernobyl, the software development business will probably need an ‘Act of Maturity’ to turn things around on a large scale.

Lowy’s masterclass provided the participants with a toolbox of mindsets and good practices that can be used to already make a difference on a small scale. Some of these really hit the nail on the head for our colleagues. Yves Van Stappen, Senior Technical Consultant in the Dynamics Development Team, remembered one in particular: “Developers shouldn’t ask their functional colleague to test if his code works, but ask them to try to break it.”

Developing #peopleofdelaware

Our five brave young men came back from Sweden with experience, knowledge and some good stories to share with other #peopleofdelaware. This weeklong training was a chance to boost their knowledge and an opportunity to connect with like-minded colleagues across solutions. The insights from the training will surely be spread throughout delaware and put to practice in future projects.