An evolutionary architecture supports incremental, guided change as a first principle across multiple dimensions.
For many years, software architecture was described as the "parts that are hard to change later". But then microservices showed that if architects build evolvability into the architecture, change becomes easier. This talk, based on my upcoming eponymous book, investigates the family of software architectures that support evolutionary change, along with how to build evolvable systems. Understanding how to evolve architecture requires understanding how different parts of architecture interact; I describe how to achieve appropriate coupling between components and services. Incremental change is critical for the mechanics of evolution; I cover how to build engineering and DevOps practices to support continuous change. Uncontrolled evolution leads to undesirable side effects; I cover how fitness functions build protective, testable scaffolding around critical parts to guide the architecture as it evolves.
The software development ecosystem exists in a state of dynamic equilibrium, where any new tool, framework, or technique leads to disruption and the establishment of a new equilibrium. Predictability is impossible when the foundation architects plan against changes constantly in unexpected ways. Instead, prefer evolvability over predictability. This talk provides a high-level overview of a different way to think about and build software architecture.
Neal Ford is Director, Software Architect, and Meme Wrangler at ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy with an exclusive focus on end-to-end software development and delivery. He is also the designer and developer of applications, magazine articles, video/DVD presentations, and author and/or editor of eight books spanning a variety of subjects and technologies, including the most recent Presentation Patterns and Functional Thinking. He focuses on designing and building of large-scale enterprise applications. He is also an internationally acclaimed speaker, speaking at over 300 developer conferences worldwide, delivering more than 2000 presentations.