A few weeks ago, I wrote about how we should design any system from one logical level up, i.e. considering the environment of our system. A Redditor offered an interesting comment that this approach was contrary to how anything natural evolved. Natural evolution is always bottoms up and that seems a lot more flexible.

This is certainly a valid observation and it got me thinking. Natural evolution happens bottom-up with everything co-evolving at the same time. Why should we not define and build the lowest levels first?

The purpose of a system

I have come to the conclusion that the difference is one…


KNOW THE EFFECT you intend to create

I was recently listening to my friends argue about whether to privatize govt banks or not. Some argued that this will improve efficiency, some wondered if private corporations can be trusted with all the banking in the country, some debated socialism and its pros and cons.

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This is a common discussion pattern in both formal and informal settings. A lot of public opinions are framed this way (e.g. rapists should be summarily hung, but what about humanitarian treatment or legal rights) so is a lot of tech hype (e.g. …


Tech Debt, Edge Computing, Decentralization, and Flow Architectures

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Hello everyone!

I just sent out It Depends #44. Go get your weekly dose of great weekend reading!

This week on the blog, I discuss technical debt. I find it instructive to view software engineering as the process of converting tech debt into knowledge about the problem domain. So if a team can deliberately take on tech debt and continuously eliminate the worst of it, they can achieve a lot.

For those who prefer audio, you can check it out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

From the internet this week, the Cloudflare team on edge computing, @lsanger explains…


It is not just about technology

Tech debt represents an accumulation of conscious or subconscious decisions which can now be identified as bad decisions. Basically, a shoddy job that makes taking the next steps harder. The more tech debt you have, the harder you have to work to make new changes.

My approach to system architecture and evolution is via continuous learning and improvement. I believe that all things change all the time. So all parts of a system will carry tech debt some time or the other. …


“Accelerate”, writing usefully, events, single-sign-on, and Conway’s Law

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Hello everyone!

I just sent out It Depends #43. Go get your weekly dose of great weekend reading.

This week on the blog, I published the highlights from my reading of “Accelerate” — a seminal book in the field of DevOps and tech in general. I strongly recommend everyone to read it — the summary will give you a small flavour of what to expect.

From the internet this week, @accomazzo wants events, not webhooks, @paulg on how to write usefully, @BrantlyMillegan on implementing decentralized single sign-on with @ethereum, and @tdpauw’s compilation of different expressions of Conway’s law.

If you like reading about technology and teams that build technology, sign up for the next edition and bring your friends too! You can check out the previous editions in the archive.

Cheers!

Kislay


Building, and scaling high performing technology organizations

Buy on Amazon

Accelerate has consistently been described as one of the best books when it comes to DevOps and building technical agility in organizations. I finally got around to reading it and it was every bit as good as I had expected it to be.

The book is essentially the presentation of a multi-year research and contains a whole section on why certain research methods were chosen over others. I have been reading and writing a fair bit about agility and moving fast, so most of the things in the book were not new, but the solid research backing it means that…


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Hello everyone!

I just sent out It Depends #42. Go get your weekly dose of great weekend reading.

This week on the blog, I discuss the sense of purpose in system design, and what that means in terms of top-down and bottom-up design. Design and evolution are complex, and sometimes conflicting things can be true with a slightly different perspective. Check it out.

For those who prefer audio, you can listen to the article on Spotify, Apple, or Google.

From the internet this week, @lauralifts explains essential complexity in system architecture, Dave Farley’s intro to reactive systems from @GOTOcon ’21…


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Hello everyone!

I just sent out It Depends #41, my weekly technology newsletter. Go get your dose of great weekend reading!

This week on the blog, I summarized several lectures by Dr. Russell Ackoff, one of the leading systems thinkers. Check it out for a taste of his sage systems and management advice, and then go listen to him on YT — worth every minute of your time.

From the internet this week, Theodor Marcu on DAOs, @ntcoding on risk models in modernizing architecture, @joost_minnaar on why he thinks the next management model is from China, and @tod_golding on building serverless SaaS.

If you like reading about technology and teams that build technology, sign up for the next edition and bring your friends too! You can check out the previous editions in the archive.

Cheers!

Kislay


I have recently started getting interested in systems thinking. I got started in this field by Donella Meadows’ “Thinking in System” which was great. And a few weeks ago I discovered Dr. Russell Ackoff (Hat tip to Trond Hjorteland for that). His genius for telling stories and correlating these funny stories back to a systemic view of the world is as good as anything I have ever come across.

There are a lot of videos of him explaining systems and management etc on Youtube, but like a lot of old-time proponents of a specific topic, many of them carry similar…


Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Hello everyone!

I just sent out It Depends #40. Go get your weekly dose of great weekend reading!

Know the effect you wish to create. Start with why. Effects before causes. Under any name, the principle of working backward from the outcomes remains an undebatable but often overlooked bit of advice. Let’s you and me privatize a bank and see what happens.

From the internet this week, @emgsilva on architecture topologies and architecture as enabling team, @CapitalOneTech on using event storming to decompose monoliths into microservices, @johncutlefish visualizes work in progress, and @whereistanya on why supporting other people’s great ideas is better than always having your own.

If you like reading about technology and great teams that build technology, sign up for the next edition and bring your friends too! You can check out the previous editions in the archive.

Have a great weekend!

Kislay

Kislay Verma

Code, products, platforms, books, music

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