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Questions tagged [architecture]

The high-level design and description of a software system. Architectural design distills away details of implementations, algorithms, and data representation to concentrate on the interaction of "black box" components.

428
votes
33answers
296k views

How do I create my own programming language and a compiler for it [closed]

I am thorough with programming and have come across languages including BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, LISP, LOGO, Java, C++, C, MATLAB, Mathematica, Python, Ruby, Perl, JavaScript, Assembly and so on. I can'...
197
votes
17answers
51k views

Is premature optimization really the root of all evil?

A colleague of mine today committed a class called ThreadLocalFormat, which basically moved instances of Java Format classes into a thread local, since they are not thread safe and "relatively ...
187
votes
16answers
16k views

When using the Single Responsibility Principle, what constitutes a “responsibility?”

It seems pretty clear that "Single Responsibility Principle" does not mean "only does one thing." That's what methods are for. public Interface CustomerCRUD { public void Create(Customer ...
126
votes
17answers
133k views

Is it better to return NULL or empty values from functions/methods where the return value is not present?

I am looking for a recommendation here. I am struggling with whether it is better to return NULL or an empty value from a method when the return value is not present or cannot be determined. Take ...
120
votes
9answers
24k views

Is there any “real” reason multiple inheritance is hated?

I've always liked the idea of having multiple inheritance supported in a language. Most often though it's intentionally forgone, and the supposed "replacement" is interfaces. Interfaces simply do ...
117
votes
10answers
56k views

What is the advantage of little endian format?

Intel processors (and maybe some others) use the little endian format for storage. I always wonder why someone would want to store the bytes in reverse order. Does this format have any advantages ...
116
votes
8answers
11k views

What is the most effective way to add functionality to unfamiliar, structurally unsound code? [duplicate]

This is probably something everyone has to face during the development sooner or later. You have an existing code written by someone else, and you have to extend it to work under new requirements. ...
109
votes
8answers
20k views

Criticism and disadvantages of dependency injection

Dependency injection (DI) is a well known and fashionable pattern. Most of engineers know its advantages, like: Making isolation in unit testing possible/easy Explicitly defining dependencies of a ...
104
votes
10answers
84k views

Don't Use “Static” in C#?

I submitted an application I wrote to some other architects for code review. One of them almost immediately wrote me back and said "Don't use "static". You can't write automated tests with static ...
100
votes
5answers
9k views

Aren't the guidelines of async/await usage in C# contradicting the concepts of good architecture and abstraction layering?

This question concerns the C# language, but I expect it to cover other languages such as Java or TypeScript. Microsoft recommends best practices on using asynchronous calls in .NET. Among these ...
92
votes
17answers
24k views

Is it a good idea to design an architecture thinking that the User Interface classes can be replaced by a command line interface?

In Code Complete page 25, it's said that it's a good idea to be able to easily replace the regular user interface classes by a command line one. Knowing its advantages for testing, what about the ...
92
votes
9answers
14k views

Why should I use dependency injection?

I am having a hard time looking for resources on why I should use dependency injection. Most of the resources that I see explains that it just passes an instance of an object to another instance of an ...
84
votes
10answers
32k views

Why did Alan Kay say, “The Internet was so well done, but the web was by amateurs”?

OK, so I paraphrased. The full quote: The Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the ...
78
votes
9answers
17k views

How do huge open source libraries get maintained while having code far from “clean code” practices?

I'm still inexperienced to write high quality code, so I read books addressing the issue such as Clean Code by Robert C. Martin, and keep checking code of well-known libraries to improve my skills. ...
74
votes
17answers
9k views

How to train yourself to avoid writing “clever” code? [closed]

Do you know that feeling when you just need to show off that new trick with Expressions or generalize three different procedures? This does not have to be on Architecture Astronaut scale and in fact ...
73
votes
11answers
6k views

Advice on designing web application with a 40+ year lifetime

Scenario Currently, I am apart of a health care project whose main requirement is to capture data with unknown attributes using user generated forms by health care providers. The second requirement ...
71
votes
7answers
46k views

What is the most accepted transaction strategy for microservices

One of the major issues that I have seen occur in a system with microservices is the way transactions work when they span over different services. Within our own architecture, we have been using ...
68
votes
12answers
7k views

“Everything is a Map”, am I doing this right?

I watched Stuart Sierra's talk "Thinking In Data" and took one of the ideas from it as a design principle in this game I'm making. The difference is he's working in Clojure and I'm working in ...
66
votes
13answers
7k views

Why is it a good idea for “lower” application layers not to be aware of “higher” ones?

In a typical (well-designed) MVC web app, the database is not aware of the model code, the model code is not aware of the controller code, and the controller code is not aware of the view code. (I ...
61
votes
19answers
4k views

Dealing with awful estimates

A recent project I worked on was proven to be severely underestimated by the architect. The estimate was out by at least 500%. Unfortunately I was brought onto the project after the estimate had ...
60
votes
18answers
21k views

Working on someone else's code [closed]

I have hardly a year's experience in coding. After I started working, most of the time I would be working on someone else's code, either adding new features over the existing ones or modifying the ...
60
votes
15answers
16k views

Is there any reason not to go directly from client-side Javascript to a database?

Possible Duplicate: Writing Web “server less” applications So, let's say I'm going to build a Stack Exchange clone and I decide to use something like CouchDB as my backend store. If I use their ...
59
votes
5answers
17k views

Why is it so bad to read data from a database “owned” by a different microservice

I have recently read this excellent article on the microservice architecture: http://www.infoq.com/articles/microservices-intro It states that when you load a web page on Amazon, then 100+ ...
59
votes
7answers
58k views

How essential is it to make a service layer?

I started building an app in 3 layers (DAL, BL, UI) [it mainly handles CRM, some sales reports and inventory]. A colleague told me that I must move to service layer pattern, that developers came to ...
59
votes
9answers
29k views

Should Repositories return IQueryable?

I have been seeing a lot of projects that have repositories that return instances of IQueryable. This allows additional filters and sorting can be performed on the IQueryable by other code, which ...
59
votes
7answers
23k views

How do microservice system architectures avoid network bottlenecks?

I've been reading a lot about microservice architectures for server applications, and have been wondering how the internal network usage is not a bottleneck or a significant disadvantage compared to a ...
58
votes
3answers
21k views

How is architectural design done in an agile environment?

I have read Principles for the Agile Architect, where they defined next principles : Principle #1 The teams that code the system design the system. Principle #2 Build the simplest architecture ...
53
votes
12answers
4k views

How to take a step back and look at code with fresh eyes? [closed]

I've spent the last year as a one-man team developing a rich-client application (35,000+ LoC, for what it's worth). It's currently stable and in production. However, I know that my skills were rusty ...
48
votes
14answers
14k views

Are there problems with using Reflection?

I don't know why, but I always feel like I am "cheating" when I use reflection - maybe it is because of the performance hit I know I am taking. Part of me says, if it is part of the language you are ...
47
votes
9answers
14k views

Why is a while(true) loop in a constructor actually bad?

Albeit a general question my scope is rather C# as I am aware that languages like C++ have different semantics regarding constructor execution, memory management, undefined behaviour, etc. Somebody ...
45
votes
11answers
11k views

What does Robert C. Martin mean by SQL being unnecessary? [closed]

I've been reading/watching a lot of Robert C. Martin content. I've come across him saying SQL is unnecessary because of solid state drives. When I search other sources to back this up I get a bunch of ...
45
votes
11answers
4k views

As a software architect, am I supposed to focus that much on analysing the logs and fixing other's bugs?

Since my graduation (late 2005) I was working for the same company as a c++ software engineer. A year ago I was promoted as a software architect but I have found myself involved more and more in ...
45
votes
4answers
5k views

Why do so many namespaces start with com

I've noticed that a lot of companies use "reverse domain name" namespaces and I'm curious where that practice originated and why it continues. Does it merely continue because of rote practice, or is ...
44
votes
4answers
17k views

Shared domain model between different microservices

Imagine a scenario of two different microservices. One to handle Authentication within the service, the other one takes care of User Management. They both have a concept of a User, and will talk about ...
43
votes
8answers
11k views

Return considered harmful? Can code be functional without it?

OK, so the title is a little clickbaity but seriously I've been on a tell, don't ask kick for a while. I like how it encourages methods to be used as messages in true object-oriented fashion. But this ...
43
votes
9answers
13k views

Can manager classes be a sign of bad architecture?

Lately I've begun to think that having lots of manager classes in your design is a bad thing. The idea hasn't matured enough for me to make a compelling argument, but here's a few general points: I ...
42
votes
7answers
5k views

How do I stop designing and start architecting this project as suggested by my lead? [closed]

I'm a junior developer (~3 years' exp.) and at my job we're in the process of architecting a new system. My lead developer will be the principal architect, however he's challenged me to try ...
40
votes
6answers
51k views

What is the role of the lead developer in an agile team?

In a non-agile development team a lead developer generally: Sets the standard (coding and otherwise) Researches new technologies for the team Sets the technical direction for the team Has the final ...
40
votes
9answers
2k views

What can one do when “lead by example” doesn't work? [closed]

I have been working for a big company (8000+ employees) for almost 2 years now, and was hired just after I finished my study course. Everyone here has to deal daily with legacy code which is often ...
40
votes
4answers
17k views

REST - Tradeoffs between content negotiation via Accept header versus extensions

I'm working through designing a RESTful API. We know we want to return JSON and XML for any given resource. I had been thinking we would do something like this: GET /api/something?param1=value1 ...
40
votes
10answers
20k views

Best practice or design patterns for retrieval of data for reporting and dashboards in a domain-rich application

First, I want to say this seems to be a neglected question/area, so if this question needs improvement, help me make this a great question that can benefit others! I'm looking for advice and help from ...
38
votes
17answers
3k views

Software Design: Build it fast or build it well?

When building a non-trivial application, is it best to focus on getting things working quickly, and taking shortcuts in the code like mixing model logic with your views, breaking encapsulation - ...
37
votes
8answers
3k views

Are there architecture smells?

There are tons of resources on the web referring to and listing code smells. However, I've never seen information on architectural smells. Is this defined somewhere, and is there a list available? ...
36
votes
11answers
6k views

Ensure that each class has only one responsibility, why?

According to Microsoft documentation, the Wikipedia SOLID principe article, or most IT architects we must ensure that each class has only one responsibility. I would like to know why, because if ...
35
votes
11answers
9k views

Are abstract classes / methods obsolete?

I used to create a lot of abstract classes / methods. Then I started using interfaces. Now I am not sure if interfaces aren't making abstract classes obsolete. You need a fully abstract class? ...
35
votes
6answers
8k views

In microservice, is it single database or single database instance for each service?

I understand that a each service in a microservice architecture should have its own database. However, by having its own database, does it actually mean simply having another database within the same ...
35
votes
7answers
48k views

Application layer vs domain layer?

I am reading Domain-Driven Design by Evans and I am at the part discussing the layered architecture. I just realized that application and domain layers are different and should be separate. In the ...
35
votes
2answers
42k views

How would you implement Google Search? [closed]

Supposed you were asked in an interview "How would you implement Google Search?" How would you answer such a question? There might be resources out there that explain how some pieces in Google are ...
34
votes
6answers
4k views

Re-inventing system design for Scala

Many, many, moons ago, I did my masters in Object Orientated Software Engineering. I covered everything: project initiation, requirements, analysis, design, architecture, development, etc, etc. My ...
33
votes
8answers
19k views

What is the best way to design a web site to be highly scalable?

For websites that need to be highly scalable, such as social networks like facebook, what's the best way to design the website? Should I have a web service which the site queries to get data that it ...