Engineering the Future of Software
16–18 October 2017: Conference & Tutorials
18–19 October 2017: Training
London, UK

The travel guide to a software system

Patrick Kua (N26)
13:1514:05 Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Location: King's Suite - Balmoral
Secondary topics:  Anti-Pattern, Best Practice, Overview
Average rating: ****.
(4.23, 22 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

  • Experience building a software system and leading a development team

What you'll learn

  • Understand what to capture as minimal viable documentation
  • Learn a process to keep documentation up to date


In today’s world of Agile software development, many teams interpret “working software over comprehensive documentation” as “no documentation.” However some level of documentation is essential for systems over their lifetime. Patrick Kua uses the analogy of the travel guide to help you decide what to document in your software systems, using a value-driven approach.

Topics include:

  • Why use a travel guide approach, and who’s interested in your travel guide?
  • Why code isn’t enough
  • Characteristics of a good travel guide for software systems
  • Keeping your travel guide up to date
Photo of Patrick Kua

Patrick Kua


Patrick Kua is the chief scientist at the mobile bank N26, where he’s building the engineering group that will change how retail banking works. Previously, Patrick was the CTO of N26 and a principal technical consultant at ThoughtWorks in London. He’s the author of three books: The Retrospective Handbook, Talking with Tech Leads, and most recently, Building Evolutionary Architectures. Patrick is a frequent conference speaker and blogger. He’s passionate about bringing a balanced focus between people, organizations, and technology.