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Software Architecture Superstream Series: Software Architecture Fundamentals—Comparing Architectural Styles

Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.


Sep. 15, 2021

2 - 6 p.m. Coordinated Universal Time

This event has ended.

What you’ll learn and how you can apply it

  • Explore techniques to analyze and select the right architecture style for your business and engineering teams
  • Learn how to diagram and document an architectural solution
  • Better understand a variety of architecture styles so that you can champion architecture decisions to developers and stakeholders

This live event is for you because…

  • You're a senior-level developer who wants to make the move to architect.
  • You're a practicing software architect who wants to hone your skills and learn new software architecture techniques and practices.
  • You want to better understand when to use different architectural styles.


  • Come with your questions
  • Have a pen and paper handy to capture notes, insights, and inspiration

Recommended follow-up:


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

Neal Ford: Introduction (5 minutes) - 7:00am PT | 10:00am ET | 2:00pm UTC/GMT

  • Neal Ford welcomes you to the Software Architecture Superstream.

Simon Brown: Understanding Modular Monoliths (35 minutes) - 7:05am PT | 10:05am ET | 2:05pm UTC/GMT

  • If you want evidence that the software development industry is susceptible to fashion, just take a look at the hype around microservices. They’re everywhere! For some people microservices are "the next big thing," whereas for others they’re simply a lightweight evolution of the big service-oriented architectures we saw 10 years ago "done right." Either way, microservices are by no means a silver bullet. Join Simon Brown to learn why the design thinking required to create a good microservices architecture is the same as that needed to create a well-structured monolith.
  • Simon Brown is the author of Software Architecture for Developers, a developer-friendly guide to software architecture, technical leadership, and the balance with agility. He’s also the creator of the C4 software architecture model and the founder of Structurizr, a collection of tooling to help software teams visualize, document, and explore their software architecture. Simon delivers keynotes, presentations, training courses, and workshops at software development conferences, meetups, and organizations around the world. In 2013, he won the Architecture in Practice Presentation Award at the IEEE Software-sponsored SATURN conference for his talk on the conflict between Agile and architecture.

Sam Newman: Microservices—The Modular, Distributed Architecture (35 minutes) - 7:40am PT | 10:40am ET | 2:40pm UTC/GMT

  • Microservices are often portrayed as the polar opposite of modular, monolithic architectures, but not so fast! As Sam Newman shows, microservices, when done right, are actually a type of modular architecture, albeit one with all the additional complexities of also being a highly distributed system. Sam looks at information hiding (one of the core concepts of modular software theory) and details its value, demonstrating how a firm understanding of these ideas is key to getting the most out of a microservice architecture. Join in to learn how a microservice architecture compares to a more traditional monolithic system and how modular thinking can benefit your distributed system.
  • After spending time at multiple startups and 12 years at ThoughtWorks, Sam Newman is now an independent consultant. Specializing in microservices, cloud, and continuous delivery, Sam helps clients deliver software faster and more reliably through training and consulting. An experienced speaker, Sam has given talks at conferences across the world and is the author of Building Microservices and Monolith to Microservices, both from O'Reilly.
  • Break (10 minutes)

Kris Nóva and Andrew Rynhard: The Distributed Operating System Void (35 minutes) - 8:25am PT | 11:25am ET | 3:25pm UTC/GMT

  • Modern (circa 2021) Unix-based operating systems should be reimagined to support higher-level workloads that are managed in a distributed environment, such as Kubernetes. The first step in progress toward this goal is defining an interface, and that’s just what the Common Operating System Interface (COSI) hopes to achieve. Join Kris Nóva and Andrew Rynhard to learn how defining a clear interface for an operating system running in a distributed environment allows you to begin to claim complete control over userland in Kubernetes—instead of partial control of pillars of the operating system as we see it today. You’ll also learn how bridging the gap between users and Kubernetes will ensure that your systems are built to best support your business needs and ensure security for users.
  • Kris Nóva, coauthor of Cloud Native Infrastructure, has been contributing open source software to the cloud native ecosystem for well over two years. She’s built and designed systems both internally in the upstream Kubernetes code base and externally to complement the existing system. She’s worked directly with hundreds of engineers architecting with Kubernetes and has worked professionally with Kubernetes on Microsoft’s Azure team, at Heptio Engineering, and now with VMware. Kris has had a unique experience in the field, given her ability to take a breadth-first approach to learning tooling and concepts due to her unique positions professionally as well as her personal passion.
  • Andrew Rynhard is cofounder and CTO at Talos Systems.

Amir Rawdat: Accelerating Business Value with Microservices (Sponsored by NGINX) (35 minutes) - 9:00am PT | 12:00pm ET | 4:00pm UTC/GMT

  • Today’s application landscape has changed dramatically, and businesses are struggling to quickly release applications and bring new features to market. DevOps teams are looking to speed up code velocity and application iteration cycles, from development through release. Microservices can help accelerate these processes. Amir Rawdat takes you through the fundamentals of microservices and shares best practices for deploying production-grade applications in containerized environments. Join in to explore microservices basics, Kubernetes, ingress controllers (and why they’re critical), service meshes, and more.
  • Amir Rawdat is a technical marketing engineer for the NGINX business unit at F5. He started his career as a programmer, then moved to reproducing live customer networks in data centers and building software automation tools accelerating IT operations. Amir has a degree in computer engineering and hands-on experience performance-tuning open source technologies on the Linux operating system.
  • This session will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A in a breakout room. Stop by if you have more questions for Amir.
  • Break (10 minutes)

Danilo Sato: Choosing the Right Style for Your Data (35 minutes) - 9:45am PT | 12:45pm ET | 4:45pm UTC/GMT

  • The data technology landscape has evolved over the last 15 years, moving away from the dominance of relational databases to a wide variety of database and data infrastructure options for building operational systems. Analytical data architectures have also evolved from centralized data warehouses to data lakes and now the emergent data mesh. Danilo Sato helps you make sense of the data landscape today and offers advice on how to make informed decisions about your data architecture.
  • Danilo Sato leads the data strategy, engineering, and analytics service line for ThoughtWorks UK. Over his 20-year career, Danilo has combined his experience leading accounts and teams with a breadth of technical expertise in many areas of architecture and engineering, including software, data, infrastructure, and machine learning. He’s the author of DevOps in Practice: Reliable and Automated Software Delivery, a member of both the ThoughtWorks Technology Advisory Board and the Office of the CTO, and an experienced international conference speaker.

Mark Richards: Understanding Space-Based Architecture (35 minutes) - 10:20am PT | 1:20pm ET | 5:20pm UTC/GMT

  • Space-based architecture has been around for a number of decades yet still remains one of the more elusive architecture styles. Space-based architecture is considered by many to be a domain-specific architecture rather than a general-purpose architecture, meaning it's used to solve specific problems related to performance, scalability, and elasticity. Join Mark Richards to learn what space-based architecture is, how it works, its strengths and weaknesses, and when to consider using it. You’ll also discover how to build hybrids between space-based architecture and microservices to solve many complex problems associated with each of these architecture styles.
  • Mark Richards is an experienced hands-on software architect involved in the architecture, design, and implementation of microservices architectures, service-oriented architectures, and distributed systems. He's been in the software industry since 1983 and has significant experience and expertise in application, integration, and enterprise architecture. He's the author of numerous O’Reilly technical books and videos, including several books on microservices, the Software Architecture Fundamentals video series, the Enterprise Messaging video series, and Java Message Service, second edition, and was a contributing author to 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know.

Neal Ford: Closing Remarks (5 minutes) - 10:55am PT | 1:55am ET | 5:55pm UTC/GMT

  • Neal Ford closes out today’s event.

Upcoming Software Architecture Superstream events:

  • Architecture Outside of Applications - November 3, 2021

Your Host

  • 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 has authored seven books (and counting), a number of magazine articles, and dozens of video 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,

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