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The Economics of Architecture-First

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Architecture is an artifact that's governed throughout the software life cycle - from conception through development to deployment and finally evolution, then to adaptation, assimilation, replacement, or abandonment. Similarly, the architect, either as an individual, a role, or a team, lovingly crafts, grows, and governs that architecture as it emerges from the thousands of individual design decisions of which it's composed. In this sense, an architecture-first approach appears to be a reflection of sound development practices. Now, strict agilists might counter that an architecture-first approach is undesirable because we should allow a system's architecture to emerge over time. More than just a reflection, however, a software development process that swirls around the growth of a software-intensive system's architecture has considerable material value.

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 5 )