Hitchhiker's Guide to Software Architecture and Everything Else - by Michael Stal

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Maturity matters

This time a rather small posting only.

I am wondering what the top research fields in software architecture currently are? Of course, fields such as MDSDL/DSLs come immediately to my mind. Cool stuff! Investigate these topics and fame is guaranteed!

Others are already sufficiently mature. I am thinking of mapping requirements to architecture decisions. Ok, maybe there are still some deficiencies in this area. Hmmh, there might be even significant gaps, especially when dealing with operational and developmental qualities. Must reevaluate my opinion.

What about documenting software architecture? There are dozens of templates available, even books. A lot of agreement here, but what about modeling? Is UML the “ultimate ratio”? How can we model, what should we model? How can we cover design rationale? How deep should we go? Did I ever read a really good architecture documentation?

I got it. Patterns are super mature. I have been author of pattern books myself. These books are now available since 14 years. Some architects even know the names of all patterns. But do most architects know patterns others than GoF? And even if they do, do they apply them?

Isn’t refactoring a good candidate or reverse engineering? Architecture refactoring isn’t established in most development organizations. If I say architecture refactoring, I really mean architecture refactoring, not code refactoring.

What about software architecture design? We have been designing software systems for decades and they work! No, most of them suck! Unfortunately, design by accident is the norm, not the exception.

… thinking, diving deeper, diving broader, getting frustrated …

Why is my impression that most areas in software architecture are still rather immature?

Maybe, the answer is that software architecture itself is a big collection of research topics.

Or maybe, I am blinded by the light.


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