12–14 March 2014 • Bergen, Norway
A software conference for the whole team
Half-day workshop - in English
Agile Architecture is for children: Playful, active, spontaneous. Much of the agile vision was present in Alan Kay's 1970s vision of his Dynabooks as network-connected extensions of the minds of children who were learning how to program. It's a vision that links people to their machines and to the process of learning together, based on Piaget's models of childhood learning. Later, objects' newly heralded facilities for software maintenance, together with the rise in personal computers, fuelled the iterative development spirit that lies at the heart of agile development. At the same time objects also became the focus of how to give software the kind of flexibility that an agile process could take advantage of. However, it's important to remember that the founders of Agile were 50s-something-year-olds, and adults tend to confuse architecture with engineering. Their architectures honour business goals with utilitas, and engineering mandates with firmitas. We should return the kind of spontaneity and action to architecture that we see in children's wood block creations — the venustas of architecture, and the giggling glee of having created something good. A great architecture "supports what happens there" and connects to human emotion in the same sense that a great mosque can inspire. The keys to child-like design lie in placing human mental models first where focus on living events among the pillars has more significance than the pillars themselves.