All Software Architecture, All the Time
June 10-13, 2019
San Jose, CA
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Idealized architecture: Increasing optionality by designing for right now

Cat Swetel (Ticketmaster)
4:50pm–5:35pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Secondary topics:  Overview, Theoretical
Average rating: ***..
(3.80, 5 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Solutions architects, enterprise architects, and technology leaders



What you'll learn

  • Understand the time span research of Elliott Jaques, how time spans are changing as technology changes, and what those changing time spans mean for the architecture of software systems


Provision a new server in minutes or seconds. Deliver working software every two weeks. Deliver continuously.

While techniques like CI/CD and Agile allow us to experiment and deliver software more rapidly (and think in shorter increments of time), those tools are only useful when guided by a long-term technology strategy designed to produce optionality and allow for evolution.

As architects, our “right now” is often quite long, covering the span of months or even years. So how do we sensitize ourselves to the information coming in from the frontlines and from technologists with a potentially much shorter “right now” of maybe hours or days (e.g., help desk workers, tier-one operators, and junior developers)? How can we train our ears to recognize different time spans and translate those (sometimes noisy) stories into valuable information that informs the architecture and design of our software systems?

Cat Swetel reviews research on workers’ time spans, then shares observations on how workers’ concepts of the present are changing as software architectures and software development methodologies evolve. Cat concludes by examining these trends in terms of their impact on the way we architect and experience sociotechnical systems.

Photo of Cat Swetel

Cat Swetel


Cat Swetel is a technology leader specializing in Lean-inspired, data-informed coaching for technology organizations. She’s passionate about increasing diversity in STEAM as a means of creating possibilities for a more equitable human future based on generative institutions. In her leisure time, Cat enjoys making jokes about Bitcoin, hiking, and reading feminist literature.