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Architectural Katas

Topic: Software Development
Neal Ford

New information after 10/20 kickoff:

  • To be considered for participation in Architectural Katas, you must complete the Google form by midnight Eastern time on 10/22.
  • Architectural Katas is a team event. Before submitting your request to participate, please be sure your team includes 3–5 people.
  • No personal information please. Don’t include team member names or email addresses. Your GitHub repo shouldn’t include your team’s names or workplaces.
  • Refer here for details on the problem and information about Farmacy Foods.
  • Smart Fridge Specs

Problems? Questions? Email katas@oreilly.com.

By registering for Architectural Katas, you get access to all the live online events and can vote for the winning presentation. Registration does not mean you’re also participating in the Architectural Katas challenge. If you’d like to take part, you must gather a team of three to five people and submit your team name to O’Reilly. Team registration will open October 20 following the first event. Your team must include at least one O’Reilly online learning member in order to participate in the Architectural Katas challenge and attend the live events. The first 100 teams to sign up will be selected to participate.

About Architectural Katas: What could be better than practicing software architecture with your handpicked dream team of architects? Participants in Architectural Katas, moderated by Neal Ford, work together virtually in small groups of their choosing to solve a challenge an actual organization is facing. Everyone gets the chance to practice their craft with a real software architecture problem in a safe and social environment, and the finalists and winners earn well-deserved bragging rights (not to mention an intriguing line on their résumé). Plus a selected organization working for social good will have some of its gnarliest software architecture problems solved.

How it works: You put together a first-rate team of three to five people, ready to tackle an architecture challenge. We’ll share the architecture problem with you at the kickoff on October 20. Then your team will have to solve it, working virtually in whatever way is best for you (video calls, group chat, shared docs, etc.). Teams will submit their solutions by November 3 and reconvene at the semifinals on November 17 to find out which will move on to the finals on December 3. At the finals, one member of each team will present their solutions to the judges and a winner will be announced. Registration opens October 20 following the first event; the first 100 teams to sign up will be selected to participate.

Not ready to compete but want to be part of the action? Register for the event and join us to see how Architectural Katas work, cast your vote for the winning team, and learn how to successfully present architecture plans to stakeholders.

Series schedule:

Event 1: Kickoff - October 20, 2020

Meet the judges, hear all the details on how Architectural Katas work, learn more about the software architecture problem you’ll be solving, and get the chance to ask Neal any questions you may have.

Event 2: Semifinals and Architectural Presentation - November 17, 2020

Get a master class on presentation skills and learn how to successfully showcase software architecture plans to developers and stakeholders (and judges). You’ll also find out the top five teams that will present in the final event.

Event 3: Finals - December 3, 2020

The top five teams present their plans with Q&A, judges provide feedback, attendees vote for their favorite, and judges announce the winner.

With today’s registration, you’ll be automatically signed up for all events in the Architectural Katas series. You’ll also get access to video recordings of all sessions as they become available, including any you may have missed.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • Identify and design architectural components
  • Explore techniques to analyze and select the right architecture patterns
  • Learn how to diagram and document an architectural solution
  • Develop better communication skills to champion architecture decisions to developers and stakeholders

This training course 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're responsible for creating a software architecture for your company, and you want to practice with a real-world challenge.


  • To participate in the Architectural Katas challenge, submit your team name to O’Reilly (Registration opens October 20 following the first event; only the first 100 applicants will be accepted. All registrants can attend the live events and vote for the winning presentation.)
  • Come with your questions
  • Have a pen and paper handy to capture notes, insights, and inspiration

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • 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 developers conferences worldwide. His topics include software architecture, continuous delivery, functional programming, cutting-edge software innovations, and a business-focused book and video on improving technical presentations. Check out his website, Nealford.com.


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


  • 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 in a variety of technologies. He’s been in the software industry since 1983 and has significant experience and expertise in application, integration, and enterprise architecture. Mark served as the president of the New England Java Users Group from 1999 through 2003. He’s the author of numerous technical books and videos, including the Software Architecture Fundamentals video series, Enterprise Messaging, Java Message Service, second edition, and a number of resources on microservices. Mark has also led training courses and spoken at hundreds of conferences and user groups around the world on a variety of enterprise-related technical topics.

  • Nathaniel T. Schutta is a solution architect focused on making usable applications. A proponent of polyglot programming, Nate has written two books on Ajax and speaks regularly at various worldwide conferences, No Fluff Just Stuff symposia, universities, and Java user groups. In addition to his day job, Nate is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches students to embrace dynamic languages. Most recently, Nate coauthored Presentation Patterns with Neal Ford and Matthew McCullough.

  • Luca Mezzalira is a chief architect with 15 years of experience, a Google Developer Expert on web technologies, and the London JavaScript community manager. He’s worked on cutting-edge projects for mobile, desktop, web, TVs, set-top boxes, and embedded devices. Luca manages DAZN, a cloud-based live and on-demand sports video platform with millions of users.

  • Sarah Taraporewalla is a technology principal consultant at ThoughtWorks, where she’s spent 12 years working in software delivery for a range of organizations in Australia and Europe. Lately, she’s enjoyed serving as CTO coach and head of architecture to scale-ups on their growth journeys and existing organizations on their digital transformation replatforms. She also wears many other hats, including tech lead, developer, Agile coach, and conference speaker. She does all this working two days a week.


Event 1: Learn how Architectural Katas work - October 20, 2020 - (2 hours) - 7:00am PT | 10:00am ET | 3:00pm UTC/GMT

  • Learn how Architectural Katas work
  • Explore the problem you'll be solving
  • Q&A

Event 2: Semifinals and Architectural Presentation - November 17, 2020 - (2 hours) - 7:00am PT | 10:00am ET | 3:00pm UTC/GMT

  • Learn how to successfully present software architecture plans to developers and stakeholders
  • Find out the top five teams that will present in the final event

Event 3: Finals - December 3, 2020 - (2 hours) - 7:00am PT | 10:00am ET | 3:00pm UTC/GMT

  • The top five teams present their plans with Q&A
  • Judges provide feedback
  • Vote for your pick
  • Winner announced