Gregor’s Ramblings on Architecture
HOME    PATTERNS    RAMBLINGS    ARTICLES    TALKS    DOWNLOAD    BOOKS    CONTACT

My ongoing thoughts about the present and future of integration, SOA and Web services. [see all]
Modern Examples for Enterprise Integration Patterns
37 Things or "Where have all my ramblings gone?"
25 Years of OOP
IT-Architekten: Angelpunkt der Digitalen Transformation im Unternehmen
March 21-22, 2017
Munich
YOW! Hong Kong
Sep 7-8, 2017
Hong Kong
YOW! Singapore
Sep 11-12, 2017
Singapore
A Decade of Enterprise Integration Patterns
(IEEE Software)
20 Years of Patterns' Impact
(IEEE Software)
Conversations Between Loosely Coupled Services
(Video on InfoQ)
Developing in a Service-oriented World
(Video on InfoQ)
SOA Patterns - New Insights or Recycled Knowledge?
(Whitepaper)
Let's Have a Conversation
(IEEE Internet Computing)
Programming Without a Call Stack - Event-driven Architectures
(ObjektSpektrum, 2006)
Your Coffee Shop Does Not Use Two-Phase Commit
(IEEE Software)
Developing in a Service-Oriented World
(ThoughtWorks Whitepaper)
An Asynchronous World
(Software Development)
Nearfield Communication (NFC) in Japan
(OOP 2012)
Embedded OSS
(OOP 2012)
Distributed Programming the Google Way
(Devoxx 2009)
Developing in a Service-Oriented World
(SOACon 2007)
Programming without a Call Stack: Event-driven Architectures
(SOACon 2007)
Software Visualization and Model Extraction
(TheServerSide)
Conversations Between Loosely Coupled Systems
(SD West, 2006)
Enterprise Integration Patterns
(JAOO, 2003)
Microsoft MVP
 
Hillside
 
IEEE Software Board Member

These pages are a mix of a blog and a collection of short articles. I call them "ramblings" because these notes are typically based on my personal opinions and observations as opposed to official "articles". As I have a broad background in software and IT, the topics also tend to cover a broad range. Naturally, they include integration, messaging and my current work on conversation patterns. I also tend to ramble about enterprise architects and architecture, events I spoke at as well as patterns and writing.

These are my Ramblings on Architecture. See all Ramblings.    Subscribe  Subscribe to my ramblings via RSS.

How to Scale an Organization? The same way you scale a system!   January 12, 2016

The digital world is all about scalability: millions of web sites, billions of hits per month, more data, more tweets, more images uploaded. To make this work, architects have learned a ton about scaling systems. With everything around us scaling to never-before-seen throughput, the limiting element in all this is bound to be us, the human users. And the organizations we work in. One may wonder, then, why scaling and optimizing throughput in organizations is considered a very different field usually completely ignored by the IT architects. I feel that many of the scalability and performance enhancement approaches experienced IT architects know can be just as well used to scale organizations. If a coffee shop can teach us about maximizing a system’s throughput, maybe our knowledge of IT systems design can help improve the performance of organizations! Read more »

The Architect’s Penthouse Bookshelf   Dec 28, 2015

When you hitchhike through the galaxy, a towel will generally do. To ride the you need to be a bit better equipped. Riding the elevator up and down is exciting and provides tremendous value to the organization. But it is also demanding as you need to adjust to different audiences, backgrounds and dynamics, becoming a technology shapeshifter of sorts. To help with this transformation, I recommended a few books for each major section of the corporate high-rise. Read more »

If software eats the world, you better use version control!   Dec 6, 2015

As I recently observed, Corporate IT tends to be afraid of code: code is where all the pesky bugs come from, which have to be fixed by quirky, expensive, and unreliable developers or external consultants. This attitude plays to the favor of vendors who peddle products that "only" require configuration, as opposed to coding. Sadly, most configuration is really just programming in a poorly designed, rather constrained language without decent tooling or useful documentation. Being afraid of code and being unfamiliar with the modern development lifecycle is a dangerous proposition in a world where everything is becoming software-defined. Read more »

If you never kill anything, you will live among zombies. And they will eat your brain.   Sept 27, 2015

Corporate IT lives among zombies: old systems that are half alive and have everyone in fear of going anywhere near them. They are also tough to kill completely. Worse yet, they eat IT staff's brains. It's like Shaun of the Dead minus the funny parts. Read more »

Movie Star Architects   Aug 1, 2015

I recently wrote about architects and the role they play in large organizations. Still, the question often remains what an architect should be doing besides "riding the elevator". Let's try another analogy: movie characters. Read more »

Virtualization Matryoshka   July 15, 2015

IT loves virtualizing stuff, following the old rule that in computer science every problem can be solved by just one more level of indirection. Cloud computing is based on virtualization of compute resources - you don't need to know which machine your application is actually running on and you can get new ones with the click of a button. Before cloud was a buzzword, though, VMware and others have virtualized machines at the operating system levels. Recently (in terms of buzz, not technology), containers bring another level of light-weight virtualization of resources. And let's not forget the Java Virtual Machine, which also claims a level of virtualization. What are we supposed to do with all these levels of virtualization? Read more »

Is This Architecture? Look for Decisions!   June 15, 2015

Part of my job is to review system architectures. So I frequently ask teams to show me "their architecture", but almost as frequently I don't consider what I receive an architecture document. The inevitable question "what do you expect?" is also not so easy for me to answer: despite many formal definitions it's not immediately clear what architecture is or whether a document really depicts an architecture. One important test I apply is whether the document or the description contains any non-trivial decisions and the rationale behind them. Read more »

SATURN Conference 2015   May 1, 2015

I have not blogged about events in a while, but SATURN 2015 has been an amazing event that's well worth rambling about. Read more »

The Architect Elevator   JAN 15, 2015

Architects frequently play a critical role as connecting and communicating element between multiple parties. Especially in large organizations such communication is an important factor: too many parties speak different languages to convey different, and often conflicting, objectives. Many layers of management only exacerbate the problem as communicating to corporate leadership resembles the "telephone game" where a circle of kids relays a message one-by-one just to realize at the end that the message has completely changed along the way. Read more »

The 3 Legs of an Architect   DEC 28, 2014

Defining what a software or IT architect is or does is no less challenging than defining software architecture itself. The SEI maintains a list of software architecture definitions, yet I have not seen a corresponding list for software architects. One could try to skirt the issue by declaring that software architects are the people who make software architecture. However, I think that this approach would be missing some important aspects of being an architect. Read more »

SOA's and Drunk Driving   January 17, 2005

Happy New Year everybody! Over the holidays I tried to sort out some of my thoughts on Web services, SOA, architectural styles, coupling and all the other good stuff. I started to think about service-oriented architectures as an architectural style and how it compares to prior styles, such as distributed component architectures. Maybe it was the New Year's mood but I started to think that the evolution of architectural styles is a little bit like drunk driving... Read more »

The Dark Side of Encapsulation?   December 12, 2003

Encapsulation and abstraction are the holy grail of today's software development. One of the great successes of hiding the implementation details under a common, abstracted interface are TCP/IP stacks. But as so often, overwhelming success can also have a flip side. Read more »

ABOUT ME
Gregor Hohpe
Hi, I am Gregor Hohpe, co-author of the book Enterprise Integration Patterns. I like to work on and write about asynchronous messaging systems, service-oriented architectures, and all sorts of enterprise computing and architecture topics. I am also the Chief Architect at Allianz SE, one of the largest insurance companies in the world.