Chapter 5. Semantic Design Practices and Artifacts

Building architects have blueprints, sections, physical models, software models, zoning codes, engineering codes, and other such received means with which to express their designs. Building architects have a known building envelope, beginning with the actual world. We in software are in a purely virtual semantic world.

You can express your design direction in conversation, as sometimes happens. But this is a recipe for disaster. All of the essential people aren’t always in the same room all the time when the conversations are happening. People mishear, you forget to say things, the conference phone drops, and so forth. I wouldn’t belabor the point, but I regularly see architects expressing their design in conversation, which quite pointedly I must say will fail. You must make the complex and abstract notions of your architecture design actionable, concrete, durable, precise.

Up to this point, you have worked to find the precise problem, frame the challenge and the solution properly, and create conceptual coherence in this space. Now, in this transitional stage, you must bring your ideas from being conceptually coherent to becoming material ready to record into architecture documents with specific, executable solutions and plans. You have the concept of your semantic field. Now you must define it in a way that software developers can understand and execute to create fantastic software.

In this chapter, we highlight some key practices ...

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