Masterclass Series: Simplifying Software Architecture4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
When it comes to building ideal software, architecture forms the base of every system. It is a framework for developers to articulate user expectations and lay down a mutual understanding of the system design. This is typically done before embarking on a software development life cycle. Whether it’s for efficient communication among stakeholders, early design decisions, or implementation constraints — designing simple yet effective architecture is a crucial step in building an organization’s tech stack.
We recently hosted Ajey Gore, Operating Partner – Technology/CTO at Sequoia Capital at Blox.ai. During the session, Gore laid down the best principles of simplifying software architecture, decision-making, and long-term software development.
Here are some of the highlights:
1. The right architecture should help the product grow
“Architecture represents the significant design decisions that shape a system,” – Gary Booch, originator of the Unified Modeling Language.
Architecture plays a vital role in shaping the efficiency of any system. Therefore it is essential to evaluate the direct impact it has on all technological systems. In recent times, the complexity of software systems has risen exponentially. And as a result, so has the need for quality software architecture.
It’s important to remember this — the right software architecture is one that helps the product grow.
2. Eliminate complexities
“The biggest cause of failure in a software-intensive system is not technical failures; it’s building the wrong thing“ – Mary Poppendieck
Complexity can be the biggest problem while building software or a product. When companies grow, they’re often faced with the question: “Why is nothing moving? “
The answer to this question lies in simply reducing accidental complexities. And refraining from overengineering the software. This only holds up development and hinders productivity as the company grows. Hence, it’s crucial for teams to think about simplifying their software architecture as much as possible.
3. Weigh the benefits of building vs buying
Teams should always think about “whether they should ” and not “whether they can.”
Answering the question of whether something should be built should be the first step for developers who are deciding their architecture. Here’s an easy analogy – the process of designing software architecture is similar to that of growing a tree.
By making the right one-way decisions, developers will be able to create extremely effective software architecture.
4. Make the right decisions early on
Architecture strategies are all about making the right decisions early on so that your sapling successfully grows into a tree. The thoughtful decisions made early on in the process create a firm foundation or the strong roots that support the tree for many years to come.
About Ajey Gore
Ajey Gore is currently the Operating Partner – Technology/CTO at Sequoia Capital (India & SEA). He comes with 25+ years of experience in building products, software development & design. Gore has worked across renowned companies like Thoughtworks, CodeIgnition, Hoppr, and Gojek.
Driven by the desire to give back to the startup community, Ajey joined hands with Sequoia Captial in 2020. He now helps businesses with their tech and product-based challenges and uses the experiences to impart knowledge to other teams.