Software Architecture Club: 10-Aug-08 / 2nd meet

 

We had the second meeting of SAC last Sunday, 10-Aug. This time, we had five attendees, and except for Venkatesh and Tathagat, the other three came for their first meeting: Venkat (Philips/NXP), Bhaskar (Software AG) and Rafi (Alcatel-Lucent). As there were new members, we diligently invested a good amount of time on coffee, socializing and digging out old connections 🙂

Venkat shared his perspective from the semiconductor world, and how the software on chip is not only leading to high complexity of software, but also demanding higher performance. Venkat and Tathagat shared experiences from a previous product they worked on together (Digital Set-top Boxes) and how incorrect / bad architecture choices led to significant challenges for the product performance.Rafi brought in the perspective of how the principles of architecture can be applied in the context of existing product – and given that most products continue to get evolved, enhanced and extended, it perhaps is a very valid discussion point for SAC. If any of the SAC member is interested to lead a discussion on this topic, it would be greatly welcome.

Venkatesh, Tathagat, Bhaskar and Venkat engrossed in a discussion

Venkatesh, Tathagat, Bhaskar and Venkat engrossed in a discussion

On one of the points regarding adoption of Agile methods, Tathagat mentioned he is re-reading Fred Brooks’ “The Mythical Man-Month” and Chapter 5 of that book is a very relevant discussion on ‘Aristocracy vs. Democracy’ of having an elite group of software architects. There has been a previous discussion on this in SAC, perhaps unfinished in some sense, that could be continued to explore this topic further and understand the various issues involved in it better. Not that we must conclude this topic one way or the other, but we might be able to explain the issue better given a much broader understanding of the issue. Venkatesh explained certain nuances about daily Scrum meeting, which led to interesting exchange of thoughts. He was promptly requested be the bridge between Agile community and SAC and keep enlightening us with more thoughts on this subject, including through his own blogs on this subject. Venkatesh also shared thoughts on ‘incremental architecture’ based on a workshop he had done for a group at Philips sometime back. Venkat mentioned that the concept was well received by the project team. 

 

Bhaskar making a point

Bhaskar making a point

 

Bhaskar brought the perspective of enterprise software, and the challenges thereof. Tathagat asked if Bhaskar would like to lead a discussion on this topic in one of the future sessions. Bhaskar to confirm. 

Venkat and Rafi listeing to Venkatesh (not in the picture) explaining the 'why' behing daily Scrum meetings

Venkat and Rafi listeing to Venkatesh (not in the picture) explaining the 'why' behind daily Scrum meetings

 

 

Rafi suggested we should share more web resources and reading list among member to help come at a good set of resources on the subject. I would request all members to contribute their efforts to come up with a good source of knowledge resources on this subject. It was also suggested to all members that Google groups allows a wiki-type functonality to create pages and edit / develop them collaboratively. Though it is not a full-blown wiki functionality, at this point it could still serve us well. For example, interest groups on Embedded, Web 2.0, Enterprise Software, etc. could be some themes, while topics such Reading List, Certifications, Adoption of Agile methods, etc. could be some of the global discussion threads that could continue. Tathagat renewed his request for shared ownership of the discussion threads on the forum to make it most effective. To that end, any member of SAC is most welcome (and encouraged) to start any of the discussion topics !

The next meeting is planned on 13-Sep (Sunday), 10am. Venue will be confirmed later. The idea is to start more focused technical discussions from the coming meeting onwards. All ideas are welcome. If you would like to lead a discussion, let us know ! 

PS: Photo quality is not so good, thanks to Blackberry, but at least that will put faces to some of the names.

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