I was asked by a co-worker, to present on the topic of ‘emergent architecture’. I asked the usual questions… Where? When?… and then asked a question that immediately indicated my questioning of ‘What is emergent architecure?’. I was flattered to be asked to present on the topic, somewhat reluctant because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say, and if I even had enough understanding of how to describe it.

I started doing some research in order to determine what others were saying about the topic. Two things quickly occured… 1) there isn’t a lot of thought on the interwebs about emergent architecture and 2) the articles/papers out there… do not agree with me. So I thought, I will just document my thoughts and see where this ends up. The first draft of the presentation was created with my thoughts on paper (white index cards and a trello board).

After several permutations and many, many index cards slung all of the floor… I finished up the presentation with 129 slides and a complete frustration of the term ‘emergent architecture’. I determined there had to be a better way to describe ‘building an architecture’ and a better term would be a good place to start.

So… here is the final result of my research, frustrations with lack of other opinions, and the resultant presentation to an ‘unnamed’ client.

The following section is the abstract submitted to the client (as is).

/grō/ - developing an emergent architecture

Architectural design more often than not, struggles to find a place within an agile environment. Unfortunately, big up-front design is second-nature and the designing, building, and maintaining of an architecture does not come for free.

Within this talk we will…

  • explore why technical practices are key to technical excellence
  • discuss the concepts of intentional yet emergent
  • discuss how to master incremental planning
  • discuss how to embrace uncertainty
  • and understand cost/benefit of constant rework

This presentation will be a journey to a common understanding of why emergent architectures can and will solve your business needs in a more efficient manner. Come and explore the world of emergent architecture. —

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