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Lean Architecture: for Agile Software Development [Kindle Edition]

James O. Coplien , Gertrud Bjørnvig
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

More and more Agile projects are seeking architectural roots as they struggle with complexity and scale - and they're seeking lightweight ways to do it
  • Still seeking? In this book the authors help you to find your own path
  • Taking cues from Lean development, they can help steer your project toward practices with longstanding track records
  • Up-front architecture? Sure. You can deliver an architecture as code that compiles and that concretely guides development without bogging it down in a mass of documents and guesses about the implementation
  • Documentation? Even a whiteboard diagram, or a CRC card, is documentation: the goal isn't to avoid documentation, but to document just the right things in just the right amount
  • Process? This all works within the frameworks of Scrum, XP, and other Agile approaches

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Product Description


′...a book of advice that is broad, enabling, and concrete. (Lean Magazine, January 2010).

From the Back Cover

It′s time for change – after 30 years, DCI has risen to complete the vision of object–oriented programming!

Aiming at no less than a paradigm shift, Lean Architecture uses a modern approach to software design, while embracing refreshing new insights of Lean and Agile. Giving a down–to–earth view of Agile requirements and the often–ignored relationship between requirements and architecture, this book goes beyond the fashionable idea of User Stories, and shows you how to employ Use Cases in a lightweight, incremental, Agile way. The authors detail the DCI (Data, Context and Interaction) architecture paradigm and show how DCI succeeds where object–oriented programming languages alone have failed to integrate software design with the end user′s understanding of the overall business structure.

However, this is not a methodology book, but a book which focuses on code, with plenty of code examples. Topics covered include: Agile production, Stakeholder Engagement, Organizational issues, Scala/Python/Java implementation of the DCI account example, Qi4J and much more.

Renowned software architecture expert James Coplien and agile requirements expert Gertrud Bjørnvig share their expertise to give you concrete design advice that will help you:

  • Create software that builds on your end–user mental models rather than design methodologies
  • Write software that can directly be verified against behavioral requirements
  • Organize – so that all your stakeholders support each other
  • Support rapidly changing feature code in stable domain code to help embrace change

Lean Architecture casts a new light over important aspects of software development that have been marginalized or forgotten by the agile movement it will help you find your own path.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2279 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470684208
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IK8PIW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #397,669 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jim ("Cope") Coplien is a speaker and author whose works range from programming and architecture to ethnography and organizational design. He is a founder of the Software Pattern discipline and of organizational patterns, which in turn were one of the foundations of Scrum. Though he writes for a technical audience, his works focus on the human element of product development. His latest work, "Lean Architecture" is as much about how architecture helps make software usable, as it is about software maintainability on the technical side. While his first book, "Advanced C++" took a little more than two years to write, "Multiparadigm Design" took five years and "Organizational Patterns" took ten.

Cope lives near Helsingør, Denmark, with his wife and son.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all system developers 18 July 2010
This is a different book. Where most books expound a single theme such as Agile, Lean, or Scrum, "Lean Architecture for Agile Software Development" paints on a much broader canvas: Working with the end user, end user's mental model, user requirements, system architecture, and right down to actual code.

This is neither a beginner's "how to do it in ten easy lessons" nor is it a design method. It is a book written for the mature professional by two authors whose long experience has given them a deep understanding of what really matters in practical programming.

At a first glance, many methodologies appear as mere fads, but Coplien and Bjørnvig see through the fads and build on their real worth to create a thought-provoking and eminently practical book.

Three random jottings from my first reading:

* Architecture: "No matter how we care to define it, software architecture should support the enterprise value stream even to the extent that the source code itself should reflect the end user's mental model of the world."

* Lean secret: "...unite specialists together in one room: everybody, all together, from early on."

* Form and functionality: "System architecture should reflect the end user's mental model of the world. The model has two parts: The first part relates to the user's thought process when viewing the screen, and to what the system is: its form. The second part relates to what end users do - interacting with the system - and how the system should respond to user input. This is the system functionality. We work with users to elicit and develop these models and to capture them in code as early as possible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technology Is All About Human Beings 5 Dec. 2014
Four years after Coplien & Bjørnvig's book came out, Agile Architecture is slowly becoming a Thing. I still think this is the book to read, because it showed me how "Technology Is All About Human Beings" might be expressed not only in working practices but also in a technical architecture.

It's notable that this book's review ratings follow the U-curve: people love it or hate. If you are a practising architect, this is a Must-Read. In fact, it's four must-reads in one. If not, you might dismiss this book for 2 reasons: the homespun style, as if the authors grew up on a farm, does not suit a bullet-point gimme-the-headlines-now generation. The second is that if you have not experienced the pitfalls of trying to architect and build software in a real organisation with actual people in it, then Coplien & Bjørnvig's pearls may impress you much as the agile manifesto might impress a cattle rancher.

I say four books in one:
1) The literally decades of experience of a leading practitioner & thinker in the field
2) A thought-through answer to the questions, what can we learn from lean & agile. Whilst value-chains and some technique feature, the authors' secret conviction is surely that Technology Is All About Human Beings. "Everybody, all together, from early on" is their Lean Secret. "Deferring interaction with stakeholders [the authors list users, the business, customers, domain experts, developers], or deferring decisions beyond the responsible moment slows progress, raises cost and increases frustration. A team acts like a team from the start."
3) Which leads to what, for me as a more-techy focussed reader, was the marvel of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Intro to Lean and Systems Thinking 1 May 2011
I found this an excellent, widely scoped book on lean thinking applied to software systems. I did find it a somewhat unusual book, the beginning is a bit hard to pin down and, in my opinion, the DCI section felt a little out of place. However don't let this deter you, the body of the book is fantastic and it brings together many ideas. It certainly changed the way I think about architecture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist And Certified Scrum-Master with more than 18 yrs experience. Successfully (on-time/within-budget) delivered multiple agile projects, sometimes as many as 4 projects in parallel.

I've watched time and time again how business's fail to understand the core principles of lean/agile methodologies, especially architecture. The industry is rife with incompetence that worships short-term gain and long-term pain!

Too many managers/projects have thrown the baby out with the bathwater in order to introduce 'agile/lean' practices. I've only skimmed the contents at this stage and it is a testimony to the pearls-of-wisdom contained in this book that it can quickly be observed that this book addresses the balance! How many more projects (and ultimately companies/industries) must we sideline because of incompetent management decisions/practices. Come on IT, get with the 'program'!!!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Simon
The good:

- Focusses on value streams.
- Practical requirements examples.

The bad:

- Very dry read, very academic in nature with no practical example of the whole theoretical approach working.
- Strikes me as very waterfall in approach.
- DCI struck me as just a simple implementation of the Strategy Pattern with the Decorator Pattern, so the end was a bit of a let down. This would have been fine but the DCI architecture was built up as a major evolution in development.
- The above point reinforced the view that architects are largely out of touch with the practices and technology used by developers, I left feeling that a good business analyst and a good development technical lead would have produced something akin to the output of the book without needing a traditional architect.

To summarise, some good practical examples presented in isolation but doesn't tie it all together and is slightly out of touch with development practices used today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting idea, but a bit laboured
I was a bit underwhelmed by this; it's basically a fairly long book about quite a simple idea, which isn't really practical, to the extent promoted, in most instances (given the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mark
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreadable
This is the first time I have found a book to be so unreadable that I've felt compelled to post a negative review. Read more
Published on 13 Feb. 2013 by Chris Preston
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading title
This is not an Architecture book - its about OO Design but with a huge amount of waffle added in. The problem is, the waffle makes sweeping assumptions, doesn't explain itself, and... Read more
Published on 23 Dec. 2011 by Some guy from Sheffield
5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced software architecture
Agile movement for good or bad is getting more academic traction. This book is such in a good sense: plenty of in-depth analysis and though-provoking insights on the convergence of... Read more
Published on 21 Sept. 2011 by Igor Lobanov
1.0 out of 5 stars Far too academic in style for me
I honestly found this book to be almost unreadable. It took me back to wading through control-theory books at university where every sentence had to be read three times and... Read more
Published on 29 Aug. 2011 by mchid
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent title from the father of agile organizational patterns
This book brings the world of the architecture right in the context of agile.

If you are using Lean, Scrum, XP or any of the other agile approaches in any of the roles... Read more
Published on 4 Jun. 2011 by Bojan Jovicic
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb to read
The author makes learning lean and agile processes so easy with a good conversational tone that just drags you along
Published on 13 April 2011 by F. Alhassan
5.0 out of 5 stars Use cases in code
This first book covering the new DCI paradigm of programming is a must read for anyone interested in separating the more often changing behavioral parts of code related to use... Read more
Published on 28 Oct. 2010 by Marc Grue
5.0 out of 5 stars Conserving value
Most IT projects I've been envolved in starts with an idea, an idea of how to create more value for the once to come end users. Read more
Published on 9 Aug. 2010 by maya gilham moerch
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