Every SaaS Integration needs an Upstream Point of Contact

Can you see a pattern in these examples? SendGrid sends emails for you. You provide it with a webhook URL.  It uses the webhook to “call you back” about what happens with those emails, like when they are dropped because your request was invalid. On AWS, you need to listen to an event bus if …

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Nonlinear increases in complexity make unification excruciating.

TL;DR: When you want to build one platform for all your lines of businesses: stop. Don’t. Build systems for each instead. Keep the integrated parts as small as possible. This minimizes costs, while enabling change. A global, unified platform to support all our lines of business! Doesn’t that sound glorious? CIOs puff out their chests. …

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Layers in software: from data to value

Then Back in the 2000s, we wrote applications in layers. Presentation layer, client, data transfer, API, business logic, data access, database. We maintained strict separation bet ween these layers, even though every new feature changed all of them. Teams organized around these layers. Front end, back end, DBAs. Layers crisscrossed the flow of data. Responsibility …

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Code and Coders: components of the sociotechnical system

TL;DR: Study all the interactions between people, code, and our mental models; gather data and we can make real improvements instead of guessing in our retros. Software is hard to change. Even when it’s clean, well-factored, and everyone working on it is sharp and nice. Why? Consider a software team and its software. It’s a …

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Tradeoffs in Coordination Among Teams

The other day in Budapest, Jez Humble and I wondered, what is the CAP theorem for teams? In distributed database systems, the CAP theorem says: choose two of Consistency, Availability, and Partitioning — and you must choose Partitioning. Consider a system for building software together. Unless the software is built by exactly one person, we …

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Patterns and details

Christopher Alexander, the architect who wrote the ORIGINAL original patterns book, contributed a forward to Patterns in Software. He reports that in the years since Patterns in Architecture “We have begun to make buildings which really do have the quality I sought for all those year… This has come about in large part because, since …

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