Have you ever experienced the problem of trying to implement something relatively easy but quite difficult in a specific project? Here, software architecture can make all the difference.
Many people who start their career in IT usually fall into such scenarios. Especially if their project is old and with tons of legacy code. The worst thing is that even if you manage to add the specific feature, you would most likely be already in a spaghetti code. Below, I present you the pasta theory in software development.
Those situations are precisely the ones we will hopefully get rid of as soon as possible. How you would ask? We will see how important software architecture is by addressing key benefits and providing tips and indicators for good architectural planning to put yourself into an architect’s boots.
What is Software Architecture?
There isn’t an accepted definition but we all know what a blueprint looks like. Similarly, the software architecture is not very much different. It defines briefly the structure and design of a software application. For example, how individual components would work together to fulfil the client’s requirements and deliver the product to the end-users.
Just like attending a construction project’s initial design – it contains high-level design choices in terms of tools, technologies and communication between those elements.
However, the most important aspect of the software architecture is that you would need to design it in a way that maximizes performance, scalability, reliability and security.
Importance + Benefits of Software Architecture
Without careful planning and robust architecture, you might run into some troubles. From the key benefits of good architecture, I already mentioned scalability. Plus, if everything is well-defined and stable, you would be able to easily expand the model or re-use this service elsewhere. Not only will this reduce code complexity, but it is cheaper in terms of bug-fixing and onboarding new members.
Other key benefits of good architecture are:
A solid foundation
Everyone on the team receives a common language in terms of future project development. For example, what further improvements the project needs and what is its business direction. Read this article if you want to learn, how to design future-oriented software architecture.
Code maintainability and reusability
Creates easier tracking for areas that are either duplicate in terms of services (reduce code) or can be refactored to increase performance and, in some cases, security as well.
Having a clean architecture enables quick changes when change is required to meet the evolving business needs.
Adaptability through software architecture
Adding new technologies and updating current ones becomes way easier.
Architects for a Minute
Let’s say we need to start a new project or perhaps we are working on an existing one where we need to provide feedback on the architecture. What should we do?
First, let’s see what we need to take into consideration:
- intuitive behaviour with reliability, security, availability and exceptional performance
- competitive features, cost, stability, schedule
- clear requirements and consistent design approach
- productive use of resources, budget, and tools for monitoring
- code to be easily adjustable
To sum up, we need to create a working ecosystem while maintaining a global vision throughout all of the project parts. In addition, we also need to propose incremental upgrades whenever a bottleneck is hit, create strategic guidelines to manage complexity, reduce cost and create a foundation for code reuse. All this is required to achieve a stable and scalable project.
And… done! Here is what we achieved:
- user-friendly software
- flexible solutions with easy adaptations
- high performance with the ability to support any type of growth
- easy to modify and expand
- easily testable
- easily maintainable
Once you catch a glimpse of good software architecture, you would never want to have any spaghetti code in front of you, unless it’s the pasta.
Here in Dreamix, I was introduced to amazing architectural planning right from the beginning of my carrier. The project we started working on was based on an existing project in terms of business logic and some features but was from the ground up. This happened because the existing one had already reached its technical limitations but the business kept growing and the demand for new features kept increasing.
So, I would propose to leave the big chunks of unreadable code in the “past-a” by taking into consideration the key aspects that we mentioned in this blog when planning a new project or refactoring an existing one. Even though it would appear scary to start something from the ground up instead of just trying to fit one more feature into an already slow and chunky project, it will be worth the cost – it usually pays off later on. Thus, do not be afraid to start something new whether it is for a new project (feel free to check if Node.js, React or Java isn’t what you might just need) or from something already existing – with careful architectural planning the possibilities are endless.