Software Architecture 101: What Makes it Good?
Sep 19, †Ј Anyone interested in how to become a software architect will need to know the business domain as well as business leaders do. Software architects need to be able to handle pressure from the business team when they find a bug in production. . Jun 05, †Ј You might assume that being a great developer is enough to become a great Software Architect - but that's not the case. A great Software Architect employs a mix of great technical skills, the ability to take a high-level look, and great interpersonal skills. You may find other courses that will teach you programming skills, project management skills and even software design skills/5(K).
So what is software architecture and why should you mindless behavior what are their real names In this article, I hope to explore this idea and show you the benefits of good software structure and design. This article is intended for programming students or professionals with experience how to negotiate buying a leased car game programming.
I will be using C as the demonstration language and Unity will be our reference Game Engine. Strictly speaking, this article will how to make organic bath products as agnostic as possible to bothЧthe main objective here is to explain what makes good architecture and what having good architecture can do for you and your projects.
Perhaps after learning more about software architecture can even help you transition to becoming a software developer. Unity is a fantastic game engine, however, the approach that new developers are encouraged to take does not lend itself well to writing large, flexible, or scalable code bases.
This can apply to nearly all the major Game Engines. In particular, the default way that Unity manages dependencies between different game components can often be awkward and error prone. What we can do to prevent this outlines our project scope early on and using what we know from this stage, plan out a software design that will conform to our client and project needs. One of the best truths I have learned from software development has to be that not even the client will know what they want.
Generally, I find I could be given a list of must haves one week and by the following week, half of these might be the latest cuts from a project. Before we begin worrying about design principles, it would be good to start here and define what it is we are looking for. Software Architecture is pointless if we are not leveraging it to support our goals. And before we can leverage it, we need to know what is good software. A responsibility is a reason to change.
A class should have one, and only one reason to change. As an example, consider a class that compiles and prints a report. Imagine such a class can be changed for two reasons. First, the content of the report what is 122cm in feet change. Second, the format of the report could change.
These two things change for very different causes; one substantive, and one cosmetic. The single responsibility principle says that these two aspects of the problem are really two separate responsibilities, and should, therefore, be in separate classes. It would be a bad design to couple two things that change for different reasons at different times.
The reason it is important to keep a class focused on a single concern is that it makes the class more robust. Continuing with that example, if there is a change to the report compilation process, there is a greater danger that the what is icd- 10 coding code will break if it is how to make an army of 2 mask of the same class.
An interface declares a contract. Implementing an interface enforces that your class will be bound to the contract by providing the appropriate members. Consequently, everything that relies on that contract can work with your object, too. A common misconception that people new to Interfaces have is extracting interfaces from every class and using those interfaces everywhere instead of using the class directly. However, in most cases the various responsibilities of an application have single, specific classes implementing them, so using interfaces in these cases just adds unnecessary maintenance overhead.
Also, concrete classes already have an interface defined by their public members. A good rule of thumb instead is to only create interfaces when the class has more than one implementation. So what does that mean? A common approach how to be a good software architect be to new up an EmailService directly inside the Game class. What are the issues here? Are there issues here? The answers to these questions can vary wildly. It all depends on the context in which you are creating your game.
If you are rapid prototyping this approach, this is perfectly valid as it does exactly what is needed. But would this suit a long term project, with a full development team? Later on during development, if one of the Team members needs to edit the EmailService, they could break the functionality inside the Game class without ever knowing until compile time. We would say the EmailService is tightly coupled to the Game class. When writing an individual class to achieve some functionality, it will likely need to interact with other classes in the system to achieve its goals.
One way to do this is to have the class itself create its dependencies, by calling concrete constructors. This works fine for small projects, but as your project grows, it starts to get unwieldy. If we decide later that we want to use a different concrete implementation, then we have to go back into the Foo class to change it.
All Foo should care about is fulfilling its own specific responsibilities. As long as the service fulfills the abstract interface required by Foo, Foo is happy. Our class then becomes:.
Therefore, we push the dependency up again:. Taking this to an extreme, we arrive at the entry point of the application, at which point all dependencies must be satisfied before things start. It would normally look like this:. There are many misconceptions about DI, due how to see a counselor the fact that it can be tricky to fully wrap your head around at first.
I found it can take time and experience before it fully sinks in. As shown in the example above, DI can be used to easily swap different how to be a good software architect of a given interface in the example, this was ISomeService. However, this is only one of the many benefits that DI offers. For small enough projects, I would agree with you that using a global singleton might be easier and less complicated. But as your project grows in size, using global singletons will make your code unwieldy.
Good code is basically synonymous with loosely coupled code, and to write loosely coupled code you need to:. And over time, your code will become really convoluted, as everything will tend what is grand rounds in a hospital depending on everything.
There could always be some method somewhere deep in a call stack that does some hail mary request to some other class anywhere in your code base. How to bullseye tie dye in terms of Bit also forces you to code to interfaces. Then the result will be more loosely coupled code, which will make it x easier to refactor, maintain, test, understand, reuse, etc. On the development machine, we will have a keyboard and mouse but on the mobile device, we might only have the touch screen for user input.
We might begin our input class like so. So everything is perfect so far. We have our class that can manage user input that we can inject into our other classes as a dependency if need be.
What would happen now if we want to mobile input? Well from a pragmatic point of view the best option here would be to implement an interface first. We have multiple instances of user input both the Desktop Development case and the mobile case. Our interface could look something like this.
But how do we handle this in the dependent class? Rather than writing to a specific concrete class we can now write to an interface as the functionality is going to be guaranteed by that interface. So we can now change the dependent class to use the interface.
So for example. Now when it comes to writing our extended functionality for our mobile case, we will have no problem in the implementation. Now that everything is conforming to our IUserInput, contract all we have to do now is let our new mobile user input class implement IUserInput as an interface.
This is where we can see the true power of polymorphism at work now. We have two independent classes that will handle two very different use cases of the same problem. We have let both these concrete classes implement a common interface, this will now let us change between them without any hassle to the rest of the program.
For example, in our game setup, we could do the following:. Hopefully, this has given you a taste for software design patterns and good principals. And when correctly used, these can help support a large, complex, and collaborative code bases. We looked at how a lot of software developers and programmers using Unity work, we talked about what can go wrong with some of the drawbacksЧbut also the benefits.
As with any system or way of working, you will always encounter trade-offs, it is helpful to fully understand all possible implications before making a move. Before we could look into architecture, though, we had to talk about good software, we looked at the characteristics of good software and explained how and why these are important.
We discussed single responsibility, trying to make it absolutely clear what a single function is and how we can recognize that. We looked at how it can be easy to confuse what we would instinctively see as a single object is actually a group of functionalities. We then looked at why it is better to break classes up by functionality, so change can only impact on a single functional basis. As I showed, this narrows down any single points of failure.
I explained what an Interface is, basically a glorified abstract class. We looked at the contract view of implementing an Interface as well as the benefits this can deliver.
We also looked at over interfacing code. This led us into Dependency Injection, were first, we looked at the common problems faced by large and complex code bases, most importantly, coupled classes. I explained how by using a DI approach, we can minimize coupling and code rigidityЧthe benefits this offers but also again the drawbacks. We saw how our code base would become flexible, testable, and refactorable. We also saw how in certain situations; this is actually a drawback.
The key thing is to analyze what your main goals are and to find the best project architecture that will support this.
What Is A Software Architect?
Sep 17, †Ј 1. Start with the Academics. If youТre considering becoming a Software Architect, the first and foremost thing you need 2. Get Proficient with Programming Languages. To start your career as a Software Architect, youТre always required to 3. Enter the IT world as a Software Developer. As. A software can be easy to maintain if it has consistent styling, good comments, is modular, etc. In fact, there is a lot of literature on good software design that just focuses on design principles that make it easy to make changes to parts of the software without breaking its functionality. Good software is reusable.
We talked about necessary skills, experience and the amount of time and dedication it took to build up knowledge. Further, I went through the steps which I took, which technologies I have actively worked with or tried out and what I have learned during my professional and non-professional career.
This conversation has triggered myself and I started to structure the topic for my personal growth. I read articles and books, and of course talked with peers.
Today, I want to share an overview of my insights with you, which skills I think are most important and how to improve them to become a better software architect. The level influences the importance of necessary skills. As there are many possible categorizations possible my favorite segmentation includes these 3 levels:. Three examples:. To understand the necessary skills an architect needs, we first need to understand typical activities. The following non-final list contains from my perspective the most important activities:.
Note: Architecture is a continuous activity, especially when it is applied in agile software development. Therefore, these activities are done over and over again. To support the laid-out activities specific skills are required.
From my experience, read books and discussions we can boil this down to these 10 skills every software architect should have:. For every skill I have laid out some actions or insights to follow up to improve in that area. What makes a good design? This is probably the most important and challenging question. I will make a distinction between theory and practice.
To my experience, having a mix of both is most valuable. Theory is important. Practice is equally or even more important if you do not want to become an Ivory Tower Architect. An architect needs to be able to take decisions and guide projects or the entire organization into the right direction.
I interpret the principle as following: If you have too many assumptions about the problem to solve your solution will probably be wrong or lead to an unnecessary complex solution. Assumptions should be reduced simplified to come to a good solution. Even as an Enterprise Architect, the most abstract level of architecture, you should still know what developers are doing on their daily basis.
Architectural documentation is sometimes more and sometimes less important. Important documents are for example architectural decisions or code guidelines. Initial documentation is often required before coding starts and need to be refined continuously. Other documentation can be automatically generated as code can also be documentation, e.
UML class diagrams. From my observations this is one of the most underestimated skill. If you are brilliant in design but cannot communicate your ideas, your thoughts are likely to have less impact or even fail to succeed. Being pro-active is probably the best you can do when it comes to consulting and coaching. If you are asked, it is often too late. And cleaning up on the architecture site is something which you want to avoid.
You need to somehow foresee the next weeks, months or even years and prepare yourself and the organization for the next steps. Your ideas are great and you have communicated them well but still nobody wants to follow? Then you probably lack marketing skills. Subscribe to my newsletter on modern software architecture. Grow your skills and become a better software architect. It is based on this article and is getting update with more content on a regular basis.
Let me know which experience you have made and how you work on improving your architectural skills. Based on your feedback I will come up with more in-depth articles. Learn Anything Navigate Tips Signup. PHP 8. Join Hacker Noon Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.
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