Just enough architecture

Some architecture needs to be done up front, and some doesn't

One of the major points of disagreement about software relates to how much up front design to do. People are very polarised as to when they should do design and how much they should do. From experience of working with software teams, the views basically break down like this.

  • We need to do all of the software architecture up front, before we start coding features.
  • Software architecture doesn't need to be done up front; we'll evolve it as we progress.
  • Meh, we don't need to do software architecture, we have an excellent team.

These different views do raise an interesting question, how much architecture do you need to do up front?

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About the author

Simon is an independent consultant specializing in software architecture, and the author of Software Architecture for Developers (a developer-friendly guide to software architecture, technical leadership and the balance with agility). He’s also the creator of the C4 software architecture model and the founder of Structurizr, which is a collection of open source and commercial tooling to help software teams visualise, document and explore their software architecture.

You can find Simon on Twitter at @simonbrown ... see simonbrown.je for information about his speaking schedule, videos from past conferences and software architecture training.

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