Yeah, But Why Did you Make that Choice?

Mark Richards poses a critical question in software architecture, “how do you analyze tradeoffs and make a decision?.” Watch a clip and read a transcript from the presentation at the GIDS Architecture Live 2020 series.

The first law of software architecture that Neal Ford and I quoted in our book is that “Everything in software architecture is a tradeoff”, and if that's the case, this is where we get to the “it depends”. Well, should I use A or B? Well, it depends. As a matter of fact, also in the book is my famous quote about architecture, which is, architecture is the stuff you can't Google.

And, unfortunately, we can Google a lot of things, but we can't Google a choice between A or B. And that's what I want to show you in this session, how to actually make that distinguishing factor.

So, if everything in software architecture is a tradeoff, then how do we make a decision? And so, that really kind of points to the second law of software architecture that we quoted in the book, and the second law is that the why is more important than how, and this was one of my epiphanies in software architecture back in 2011, as a matter of fact, when I finally realized, you know

I've been spending way too much time describing things in architecture, but what people really want to know is, wait, why did you actually make that decision?

And so these two laws really do go together because when we analyze tradeoffs and make a decision necessarily the second law of software architecture applies, which is "yeah, but why did you make that choice?"

In the full video, watch Mark guides you through how to effectively analyze architecture tradeoffs through numerous real-world scenarios involving architecture tradeoffs.

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