Rants

February 16th, 2018

Relax. There’s no conflict between architecture and agile.

Agile teams still need to make architecture decisions, but in supporting them architects should seek “just enough” architecture over “big design up front” and practical solutions over large-scale abstract thinking.

December 13th, 2017

Entity services: when microservices are worse than monoliths

Finely-grained, entity-based services seem to be advocated by some pretty authoritative sources. This is unfortunate as they are something of an anti-pattern that can undermine many of the benefits of decomposing an monolith into micoservices.

November 18th, 2017

Technical debt is an overused and lazy metaphor

Technical debt may be a useful metaphor for describing how bad code design undermines productivity to non-technical audiences, but it does not help in understanding the longer term problems that affect code bases.

August 14th, 2017

Swagger is not WSDL for REST. It’s much less useful than that…

Swagger enables the same kind of automated discovery and integration that WSDL was invented to support. In doing so it undermines the design of REST APIs and doesn’t even provide adequate documentation.

June 19th, 2017

When does refactoring become rewriting?

Refactoring describes a very specific and controlled technique for improving code. The problem is that it is often used to describe wholesale changes to code bases that should be treated as a rewrite.

May 16th, 2017

API management and the return of the enterprise service bus

No self-respecting integration platform is complete without an API management story these days. Is this just a RESTful return of the enterprise service bus?

January 28th, 2017

Why agile software architects should write code

No architect will ever admit to being out of touch with software development. However, unless you are writing code then it’s difficult to avoid becoming an “ivory tower” or “PowerPoint” architect that can only discuss systems in the abstract.

December 19th, 2016

Forget code coverage – test design should be driven by behaviours

Test coverage statistics are much loved by management teams and code quality tools. They tend to associate a high level of coverage with robust, well-managed code bases. Wrongly, as it turns out.

October 27th, 2016

The problem with using maturity models to describe technology solutions

Maturity models are a management tool. When applied to technology solutions they often provide a weak analysis that describes a false progression.

September 20th, 2016

What’s in a name? Three-lettered acronyms and their impact on development culture

Three-lettered acronyms can be a useful tool for providing brevity, but they can also give rise to a coded language that contributes to a cold and impersonal development culture.

April 14th, 2016

What do we actually mean when we say “business logic”?

In most cases “business logic” just refers to the poorly-defined “gloop” that sits between user interfaces and databases in layered architectures.

September 27th, 2015

REST APIs don’t need a versioning strategy – they need a change strategy

Change in an API is inevitable. Attempting to manage this change through version numbering usually creates more problems than it solves.

August 11th, 2015

Most software architecture diagrams are useless

The best architecture diagrams act as a map – if an architect can’t express a system clearly and concisely then they probably don’t understand it properly.

July 25th, 2015

Can cross-cutting concerns really exist between services?

You might be able to identify cross-cutting concerns in a monolith, but in a service-orientated world they should melt away into specific implementations.

November 22nd, 2014

The RESTafarian flame wars – common disagreements over REST API design

Debates on the finer points of REST can bring out the worst in people as they seek to define what is and is not “RESTful”. In most cases the debate is unlikely to make the difference between success and failure for an API.