Engineering the Future of Software
Feb 3–4, 2019: Training
Feb 4–6, 2019: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY
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Visual design and architecture

Ruth Malan (Bredemeyer Consulting)
10:45am–12:15pm Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Application architecture
Location: Grand Ballroom West
Secondary topics:  Best Practice
Average rating: **...
(2.22, 18 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects, tech leads, senior developers, and product owners



Prerequisite knowledge

  • Professional development experience

What you'll learn

  • Explore visual design for systems architecture, including graphic guides, views and models used in architectural design, and architectural design heuristics


When we as a field, for the most part, turned away from BDUF (big design upfront) toward Agile methods, we unfortunately tended to turn away from architecture visualization and modeling.

Ruth Malan revisits architecture modeling in light of Agile. Through a discussion of architecture and related views, heuristics, and other guidelines, Ruth considers the role of visual design in setting design direction for the system and explores design options as part of an Agile approach. You’ll see discover how sketching and modeling is indeed a way to be Agile and learn how to use these methods to uncover key issues and alternatives and give you a better handle on your design approach. The goal isn’t to do this as big modeling upfront but to have and apply your modeling skills early, understand and shape strategic opportunity, and set design direction for the system—and to return to modeling whenever that’s the cheapest way to explore a design idea. You’ll learn when modeling is just enough, just in time, to get a better sense of design bets worth investing more in by building the ideas out and deploying at least to some in your user base to test more robustly. Along the way, you’ll explore what architecture addresses and why, including what views are useful to surface demands, risks, and forces that shape the system.

Photo of Ruth Malan

Ruth Malan

Bredemeyer Consulting

Ruth Malan is an architecture consultant at Bredemeyer Consulting, which she cofounded with Dana Bredemeyer in the late 1990s. Together, they have worked with and influenced thousands of software, systems, and enterprise architects around the world. Previously, Ruth was part of the Software Initiative at Hewlett-Packard and created a consulting and training practice in software architecture, focused on HP product teams. Ruth was awarded the Linda Northrop Software Architecture Award in 2017 for her contributions to software architecture.