Form Follows Function on SPaMCAST 319


I’m back with another appearance on Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast.

SPaMCast 319 features Tom’s “Why Are Requirements So Hard To Get Right?” segment, followed by Jo Ann Sweeny’s new column, “Explaining Change”. Tom and I close it out with a discussion of one of my previous posts, “Fixing IT – Credible or Cassandra?”.

4 thoughts on “Form Follows Function on SPaMCAST 319

  1. Hi Gene,

    Context definitely rules, and within context there are a relatively small set of “dominant complexities” that dictate the approach. Here are a few that I’ve seen, along with approaches that do well in them:

    Dominant Complexity Architecture Patterns
    ——————————- ————————————————————————–
    Functional Complexity N-tier, Front controller, Workflow manager, Message driven
    Informational Complexity Entity/Relationship, O-R mapping, Transaction management
    Control Complexity Finite State Machine, Realtime scheduler, Event-driven, Pub/sub
    Algorithm Complexity Strategy pattern, Algorithm families, Streaming patterns
    Variability Complexity Variation points, variation options, Configuration Rules
    Extensibility Complexity Service-orientation, Interface-centric contracts,Discovery service

    This isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather an illustration that the type of complexity in a problem tends to drive approach more than other aspects of context.

    Silly analogy time – transportation of goods
    o Context 1: cold temperature, high winds, freezing rain, travel over land => truck or train
    o Context 2: cold temperature, high winds, freezing rain, travel over water => ship
    o Context 3: cold temperature, high winds, freezing rain, travel over land and water => plane

    Of all the forces in these contexts, the terrain over which transportation must occur is the dominant one. We could change the temperature, wind speed and precipitation type and the mode would
    be the same.

    Of course, if we added time urgency as a force, it might dictate air transportation in all cases.



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