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Software Architecture

Software architecture by example

Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Beginner content levelBeginner

Learn how to apply the fundamentals through real-world examples

Software architecture is a participation sport. While you can learn a great deal about practices, patterns, coupling, cohesion, and all the other facets of software architecture, you don’t really understand them until you put them in practice.

In this four-hour intensive course, Mark Richards and Neal Ford—software architects and the authors of numerous books and videos, including the popular video training course series Software Architecture Fundamentals—lead you on a guided exploration of software architecture, helping you make architectural concepts concrete through hands-on exercises. You'll learn how to identify architectural requirements, analyze architecture trade-offs, work with key architectural components, select the right architecture patterns, and diagram and document the results, all within the context of real-world examples.

What you’ll learn and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, hands-on, online course, you’ll understand:

  • How to identify architecture characteristics (“-ilities”) within a given context
  • How to test architecture characteristics via fitness functions
  • When to choose particular software architecture styles and patterns
  • The overall steps and techniques for building an architecture

And you’ll be able to:

  • Identify and design architectural components
  • Analyze and select the right architecture patterns
  • Diagram and document an architectural solution
  • Immediately apply the techniques learned in this course to your own projects
  • Better communicate architecture decisions to developers and stakeholders

This live event is for you because...

  • You're a senior-level developer who wants to learn how to effectively create and communicate an architecture.
  • You're a practicing software architect who wants to hone your skills and learn new software architecture techniques and practices.
  • You're responsible for creating a software architecture for your company, and you want to make the right choices.
  • You want a more complete picture of how to create software architectures.



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

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: Techniques for creating software architectures; real-world examples; introduction to example architecture katas
  • Discussion: Common architectural challenges
  • Q&A

Architecture characteristics (“-ilities”) (20 minutes)

  • Lecture and hands-on exercises: Extracting and qualifying characteristics from problem context; primary versus secondary characteristics; architecture trade-off analysis; verifying and governing architecture characteristics via fitness functions; determining architectural characteristics
  • Discussion: Architecture characteristics versus requirements
  • Q&A

Architecture component design (30 minutes)

  • Lecture and hands-on exercises: Component and service identification, granularity, coupling, and cohesion; iterative component creation; building components
  • Discussion: What is the appropriate component granularity?
  • Q&A
  • Break (10 minutes)

Selecting architecture patterns (60 minutes)

  • Lecture and hands-on exercises: Comparing architecture patterns; analyzing pattern characteristics; problem context to architecture pattern mapping; selecting the right architecture pattern; architecture pattern hybrids; selecting architectural patterns
  • Discussion: How do you choose the appropriate pattern(s)?
  • Q&A
  • Break (10 minutes)

Diagramming architectures (20 minutes)

  • Lecture and hands-on exercises: General diagramming techniques; leveraging the C4 diagramming technique; diagramming through code; diagramming solutions two ways
  • Discussion: How much diagramming is appropriate? What's the sweet spot?

Documenting software architecture (20 minutes)

  • Lecture and hands-on exercises: Identifying architecture decisions; justifying decisions; leveraging architecture decision records (ADRs); communicating software architectural decisions; documenting architectural decisions
  • Discussion: What should you document? In what level of detail?
  • Q&A

Your Instructors

  • Neal Ford

    Neal Ford is a director, software architect, and meme wrangler at Thoughtworks, a software company and a community of passionate, purpose-led individuals who think disruptively to deliver technology to address the toughest challenges, all while seeking to revolutionize the IT industry and create positive social change. He’s an internationally recognized expert on software development and delivery, especially in the intersection of Agile engineering techniques and software architecture. Neal’s authored several books, a number of magazine articles, and dozens of video presentations (including a video on improving technical presentations) and spoken at hundreds of developer conferences worldwide. His topics of interest include software architecture, continuous delivery, functional programming, and cutting-edge software innovations. Check out his website,

  • Mark Richards

    Mark Richards is an experienced, hands-on software architect involved in the architecture, design, and implementation of microservices architectures and other distributed systems in a variety of technologies. He has been in the software industry since 1983 and has significant experience and expertise in application, integration, and enterprise architecture. Mark is the founder of, a free website devoted to helping developers in the journey to becoming a software architect. In addition to hands-on consulting, Mark has authored numerous technical books and videos, including his two latest books Fundamentals of Software Architecture and Software Architecture: The Hard Parts that he co-authored with Neal Ford. Mark has spoken at hundreds of conferences and user groups around the world on a variety of enterprise-related technical topics.