All Software Architecture, All the Time
June 10-13, 2019
San Jose, CA

Thinking architecturally

Nathaniel Schutta (Pivotal)
1:30pm–5:00pm Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Secondary topics:  Overview
Average rating: ****.
(4.10, 21 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects, developers, and tech leads



Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience making technology choices (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Learn trade-off analysis, how to pick a technology, and how to think strategically


Rich Hickey once said programmers know the benefits of everything and the trade-offs of nothing…an approach that can lead a project down a path of frustrated developers and unhappy customers. As architects, though, we must consider the trade-offs of every new library, language, pattern, or approach and quickly make decisions often with incomplete information. How should we think about the inevitable technology choices we have to make on a project? How do we balance competing agendas? How do we keep our team happy and excited without chasing every new thing that someone finds on the internet?

As architects, it’s our responsibility to effectively guide our teams on the technology journey. Nathaniel Schutta outlines the importance of trade-offs, how to analyze new technologies, and how to effectively capture the inevitable architectural decisions. Nathaniel also explores the value of fitness functions as a way of ensuring the decisions are actually reflected in the code base.

Photo of Nathaniel Schutta

Nathaniel Schutta


Nathaniel T. Schutta is a software architect focused on cloud computing and building usable applications. In addition to his day job, he’s an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches students to embrace dynamic languages. A proponent of polyglot programming, Nate is the author of multiple books, including Presentation Patterns, with Neal Ford and Matthew McCullough, written to rid the world of bad presentations. He’s also appeared in various videos and is a seasoned speaker, regularly presenting at conferences worldwide, No Fluff Just Stuff symposia, meetups, universities, and user groups.

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Abdulrahman Mansour Sanad | TECHNICAL MANAGER
07/08/2019 7:09am PDT

How I can download the presentation?

Picture of William Wira
06/19/2019 7:10am PDT

Loved every session I attended by this presenter. Got so much out of each of his talks. Highly recommend for future conferences!

Wanted to also call out to the conference organizers that I loved how this and many other sessions invited us to start by networking with the people sitting next to us. I met some fantastic people and made great connections as a result. Thanks for this!!

Picture of Vitor Monteiro Puente
Vitor Monteiro Puente | ENGINEERING MANAGER
06/04/2019 11:46am PDT

I probably would not be able to take my notebook to the conference. Is it mandatory for this course?