Mag 222024

Human-Centric Aspects of Software Architecture

Prof. Rick Kazman & Prof. Hong-Mei Chen
University of Hawaii, Honolulu


In 1992 the political consultant James Carville coined the much-quoted phrase “It’s the economy, stupid”. I shamelessly borrow and adapt Carville’s line, in the context of software architecture to be: “It’s the people, stupid”. A software architecture is not merely a technical artifact; it is a socio-technical artifact. Architects who forget or neglect this critical aspect of their architecture are doomed to failure. An architect is the fulcrum between the world of technology on the one hand, and the world of individuals, groups, and business needs on the other hand. An architect therefore needs to be not just a technical leader, but also a community shepherd. In this talk I will outline some of the non-technical dimensions of a software architect’s job, and describe some of the ways in which these can cause a project to succeed or fail. In addition I will show how a socio-technical ecosystem – a network representation of the technical artifacts as well as the human artifacts – can be captured, modeled, and analyzed, and the ways in which a project can be made better through this analytic lens.


June 27th, 11:00-13:00 (Palazzo delle Scienze, Aula Magna Matematica)


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