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Software Architecture Superstream Series: Software Architecture Fundamentals

Topic: Programming
Neal Ford

About the Software Architecture Superstream Series: This three-part series of half-day online events focuses on the hottest topics in software architecture—including microservices, essential architecture principles, and scalable domain-driven design—giving you the insights to keep pace with what’s next while still accommodating legacy needs. Both seasoned software architects and those looking to break into the field will learn new skills and the latest information on the tools and technologies they need to succeed.

Series schedule:

  • Event 1: Software Architecture Fundamentals - June 10, 2020
  • Event 2: Microservices - September 9, 2020
  • Event 3: Domain-Driven Design and Event-Driven Architecture - November 11, 2020

NOTE: With today’s registration, you’ll be automatically signed up for all sessions in the Superstream series. We’ll continue to update this page. Check back to see speakers and sessions for later events.

Description: There’s no single—or clearly defined—path to becoming a software architect. But these sessions will give you a solid grasp of the fundamentals, preparing you to implement the strategies that will help your organization increase performance, reduce costs, manage complexity, build in resilience and scalability, and speed time to market.

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

  • Discover how to identify and design architectural components
  • Understand exactly what microservices are and the power they bring
  • Learn techniques to analyze and select the right architecture patterns
  • Explore ways to diagram and document an architectural solution
  • Build better communication skills to champion architecture decisions to developers and stakeholders

This Superstream 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 techniques and practices.
  • You're considering adopting a microservice architecture.
  • You're responsible for creating software architecture for your company, and you want to learn the fundamentals.


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

About your hosts

  • 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

Introduction: Neal Ford - Introduction (10mins) 9:00 am PT | 12:00 pm ET | 5:00 pm UTC/GMT

  • Neal Ford welcomes you to the Software Architecture Superstream.

Rebecca Parsons: Meet the Expert (50 minutes) - 9:10am PT | 12:10pm ET | 5:10pm UTC/GMT

  • Rebecca Parsons, chief technology officer at ThoughtWorks, will discuss the challenges developers face when transitioning to an architect role. Rebecca has worked in a number of roles within ThoughtWorks and mentored hundreds of developers though the transition to architecture and beyond. Join in to hear her insights on what makes that transition difficult and how to make it easier—along with stories of challenges faced and overcome.

  • Rebecca Parsons is CTO at ThoughtWorks. Rebecca has more than 30 years' experience leading the creation of large-scale distributed, services-based applications and the integration of disparate systems. Previously, she was an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Central Florida and a director's postdoctoral fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Rebecca's interests include parallel and distributed computation, programming languages, domain-specific languages, evolutionary architecture, genetic algorithms, and computational science. She’s the coauthor of Domain-Specific Languages, The ThoughtWorks Anthology, and Building Evolutionary Architectures. In 2018 she was recognized with the Technical Leadership Abie Award, presented by AnitaB.org, celebrating a woman who led or developed a product, process, or innovation that made a notable impact on business or society.

Nathaniel Schutta: Thinking Like an Architect (50 minutes) - 10:05am PT | 1:05pm ET | 6:05pm UTC/GMT

  • As architects, it’s our responsibility to effectively guide our teams on the technology journey. Nate Schutta will outline the importance of trade-offs and explain how to best analyze new technologies and how to effectively capture the inevitable architectural decisions you’ll make. Along the way, you’ll learn how fitness functions can help you ensure the decisions you make are actually reflected in the codebase.

  • Nathaniel Schutta is a software architect focused on cloud computing and building usable applications. In addition to his day job, he's an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches students to embrace dynamic languages. A proponent of polyglot programming, Nate is the author of multiple books, including Presentation Patterns, with Neal Ford and Matthew McCullough, written to rid the world of bad presentations. He's also appeared in various videos and is a seasoned speaker, regularly presenting at conferences worldwide, No Fluff Just Stuff symposia, meetups, universities, and user groups.

Mark Richards: Understanding Architecture Styles (and When to Use Them) (60 minutes) - 11:00am PT | 2:00pm ET | 7:00pm UTC/GMT

  • Whether starting a new greenfield application or analyzing the vitality of an existing application, one of the decisions an architect must make is which architecture style to use (or refactor to). Microservices? Service-based? Microkernel? Pipeline? Layered? Space-based? Event-driven? SOA? Understanding these architecture styles (and their relative strengths and weaknesses) is an essential starting point in determining which to use. Mark Richards, author of Fundamentals of Software Architecture, will detail eight common architecture styles, discuss the pros and cons of each, and explain when you should (and shouldn’t) use them.

  • 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. Mark is the founder of Developertoarchitect.com, a website devoted to helping developers in the journey to software architect. 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. Mark has spoken at hundreds of conferences and user groups around the world on a variety of enterprise-related technical topics.

Sam Newman: Microservices Fundamentals (45 minutes) - 12:05pm PT | 3:05pm ET | 8:05pm UTC/GMT

  • Microservices—they’re everywhere! Microservices help organizations achieve autonomy at scale and mix technologies. They can put software in the hands of users faster than other styles of architecture and can unlock opportunities to scale applications or handle security concerns in different ways. But without a good understanding of what microservices actually are and the benefits they offer, you may not reap all of these potential benefits and—worse—could end up adding complexity and fragility where it could have been avoided. Sam Newman will give you a firm understanding of microservice architectures, the advantages to using them, and, most importantly, all the problems they can create.

  • 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. Sam is an experienced speaker who has spoken at conferences across the world and is the author of Building Microservices _and _Monolith to Microservices both from O'Reilly. Sam is also cochair of the O’Reilly Infrastructure & Ops Superstream Series.

Neal Ford: Closing Remarks (10 minutes) - 12:50pm PT | 3:50pm ET | 8:50pm UTC/GMT