Large-Scale Agile Design and “Architecture”

Despite the number of job postings for “software architects,” Craig Larmon believes that “Architecture is a bad metaphor. We don’t construct our software like a building, we grow it like a garden.”

This idea has been around since the 1970s, when Harlan Mills made a similar point. Today, it’s particularly significant with the rise of agile development techniques that have little in common with the design and construction process for buildings and much more in common with the iterative and incremental changes made by gardeners.

“A word such as ‘architecture’ is not just a metaphor in its impact; it has concrete influence on policy and people,” writes Larmon. “Think “gardening” over “architecting” — create a culture of living, growing design.”

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