Thoughtworks’ Technology Radar

I’ve been subscribing to Thoughtworks quarterly Technology Radar report for a number of years now.  If you’ve worked with me during this time I have probably pointed you to it.  Otherwise, I am doing so now.

Thoughtworks is a software consulting company with a number recognizable names and a serious focus on the art of software engineering.  I’ve followed their Chief Scientist Martin Fowler for years.  He has a nose for key concerns in the world of software engineering, and writes compellingly on the topic.   If you have been paying attention to microservices at all in the past few years, you are probably familiar with Sam Newman’s book “Building Microservices”.   In general I have found the writers at Thoughtworks write solid articles and good books: https://www.thoughtworks.com/insights

So I look forward to their quarterly Technology Radar in which they break down recent trends and technologies into four major categories:  Techniques, Tools, Platforms, Languages & Frameworks.   This is not complete, does not always have the latest fad, and some of the results are subjective.   But it is the best regular update on a broad range of topics that are interesting and relevant to engineering leaders.   Almost a market research and analysis report for Software Engineering, free from Thoughtworks!  If you are trying to stay relevant despite the day-to-day demands of your work, this is a great place to start.

I won’t continue describing the report to you as it is drop-dead simple to understand.  And you’ve probably clicked one of the links to the latest report and have started in on it already.   You’ll want to bookmark it, as there is more to chew on than you can digest at one sitting.

The longer I manage, the more time I spend on the Techniques section.   In the latest edition they suggest adopting Lightweight Architecture Decision Records–a fine idea that is similar (but more refined) to the ‘One Pager’ strategy of agiley/concisely documenting engineering decisions, that I have championed for years.

I’ve not heard of the Legacy In A Box pattern before, although it sounds reasonable enough, assuming your legacy product would fit in a box/image (I’m not sure this works for you, Salesforce folks).   I’d be interested to see how they relate this to one of the best patterns I am familiar with for working around legacy code, the Strangler Vine Pattern (introduced years earlier by the very same Martin Fowler).  It seems like a natural fit.

Make sure you subscribe to their mailing list, so you don’t have to wait for me to point out when the next edition arrives!

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