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Software Architecture

Visualizing software architecture with the C4 Model

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What you’ll learn and how you can apply it

  • How to use the C4 model to describe the static structure of a software system.
  • How to draw System Context, Container and Component diagrams to describe static structure.
  • How to supplement the static structure diagrams with dynamic and deployment diagrams.
  • How to review software architecture diagrams.
  • The tooling options available to help you create software architecture diagrams.

This course is for you because…

You're a software developer, especially those currently in, or aspiring to be, a software architect/tech lead.


  • Some experience of building software within a team environment would be helpful, although not essential.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing.

Software architecture diagramming problems and anti-patterns (35 minutes)

  • In this segment we’ll look at what you’ll commonly see when people talk about software architecture diagrams, and the problems associated with the typical “just use a whiteboard” approach.
  • Break + Q&A (10 minutes)

The C4 model (35 minutes)

  • In this segment we’ll look at the C4 model, from the perspective of creating a shared vocabulary to describe the static structure of a software system, and the respective core diagrams (System Context, Containers, Components and Code).
  • Break + Q&A (10 minutes)

Supplementary diagrams and notation (35 minutes)

  • In this segment we’ll look at how to use dynamic and deployment diagrams to supplement the C4 model, along with some tips related to notation, to ensure that your diagrams make sense.
  • Break + Q&A (10 minutes)

Tooling (35 minutes)

  • In this segment we’ll look at the tooling options available for creating software architecture diagrams; from general purpose diagramming tools to modelling tools, and everything in between.
  • Q&A (10 minutes)

Your Instructor

  • Simon Brown

    Simon is an independent consultant specializing in software architecture, and the author of "Software Architecture for Developers" (a developer-friendly guide to software architecture, technical leadership and the balance with agility). He is also the creator of the C4 software architecture model, which is a simple approach for creating maps of your code. Simon is a regular speaker at international software development conferences and travels the world to help organizations visualize and document their software architecture.

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