SPA Conference session: Does Architecture Really Help?

One-line description:An opportunity to consider whether time spent on Architecting solutions is time well spent.
Session format: Workshop (75 mins) [read about the different session types]
Abstract:Building an application is not simple. Building an application turns out to be actually rather hard. Which is odd - as each year we get better languages, better tools, better databases, better resources. Yet still applications are really hard to build. This session will explore the reasons behind this and examine such questions as "Is choice a good thing?", "Is there a perfect architecture", "Does architecture matter?" and "What are we trying to solve with architecture?". To help make the discussion concrete and relevant, we will drill into the impact of specific Microsoft technology releases on the quest for a great application and a great architecture - by looking at technologies which span 10 years! From the arrival of MTS and ASP to the most recent releases of ADO.NET Data Services, ADO.NET Sync Services and Silverlight. It should be fun!
Audience background:Anyone involved in creating software solutions and interested in the area of Application Architecture and how it helps (or hinders) the development of software.
This session is not about specific technology stacks - but my last 12 years have been spent with Microsoft technologies.
Benefits of participating:Hopefully we should all benefit from hearing when Architecture is helpful, when it is not, what the common mistakes are and what appraoches work well. We should all leave a little clearer on whether time spent on Architecture is time well spent.
Materials provided:Presentation slides
Anecdotes and experience of variety of architecture
Process:The intention is to start by shareing some of my experiences around whether Architecture really matters (or can you solve everything with bigger kit!). This will hopefully stimulate discusssion in the room around all our experiences of Architecture which I plan to capture and summarise.
I will come armed with enough content to fill the 75mins - but hope to only use a small fraction with the rest coming from the room.
Detailed timetable:20-40 slides with plenty of time for discussion.
Maybe the odd demo to keep things concrete.
Outputs:Will produce:
* Summary of combined experiences around Architecture - the good and bad.
* Consensus (perhaps!) around questions such as "Is choice a good thing?"and "Is there a perfect architecture"

I will add the output to the SPA wiki and also post it out on my blog
History:This is a brand new session. The output of this session will lead to a more formal session around Software Architecture I will be delivering later in the year.
1. Eric Nelson
Microsoft Ltd
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