Modern software architecture in medium to large companies is increasingly a distributed affair. Agile methodologies, DevOps, and microservices have all enabled great independence for teams to make their own technical decisions. However, many companies still rely on a tree-structured organizational structure for internal communications, often creating silos where it’s difficult to discover what choices other teams are making. As the organization scales up, runaway accidental heterogeneity fritters away any leverage you might have gotten from your scale. What’s a forward-looking company to do?
Jon Moore outlines the Architecture Guild framework Comcast uses to try to thread the needle between obtaining advantageous critical mass around certain common technologies without undermining individual teams’ agency. The Architecture Guild is a grassroots framework that cuts across organizational boundaries to identify solid, workable, default recommendations for technologies and practices. The Guild is explicitly modeled on existing successful decentralized groups like the IETF and seems to be well adapted to a large organization with many empowered teams. If that context also describes your company, then this may also be an approach that could work for you.
Jon Moore is the chief software architect at Comcast Cable, where he focuses on delivering a core set of scalable, performant, robust software components for the company’s varied software product development groups. Jon specializes in the “art of the possible,” finding ways to coordinate working solutions for complex problems and deliver them on time. He is equally comfortable leading and managing teams and personally writing production-ready code and has a passion for software engineering, continuously learning, and teaching colleagues new ways to deliver working, maintainable software with ever-higher quality and ever-shorter delivery times. His interests include distributed systems, fault tolerance, building healthy and engaging engineering cultures, and Texas Hold’em. Jon holds a PhD in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania. He resides in West Philadelphia, although he was neither born nor raised there and does not spend most of his days on playgrounds.
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