Welcome to the digest #1 of my “Technical Leadership and Architecture insights” (or TLA_insights for short).


What is this? TLA_insights is compilation of insights (lightdeeper understanding”) I develop in the topics of Technical Leadership and Architecture (in context of Building Software products). This is a rather broad area, which means one needs to develop all sorts of skills and knowledge to be able to “develop & make things better”. To accomplish this I tend to study different resources, from which I take notes to distill the most interesting insights. With TLA_insights I want to curate those insights further and give some of my own views and interpretations. Hopefully these curated insights are useful for other people interested in these topics.

I will be publishing a digest of TLA_insights at least once a month. This also may look like a newsletter, but it really is about sharing curated insights, which may not be “news” all the time, so I am calling it an “Insights-letter”.

Why am I doing this? Two reasons:

  • 1: curate and consolidate the insights I develop, as I will further process and organize them in my mind while writing them down, and with that I improve my knowledge and command of these topics
  • 2: to share these insights with others, who can also benefit from that

How is this organized? It is basically a collection of summaries & insights from resources I find interesting. I will be organizing these into sections, which represent areas I am really interested and actively developing/researching in the wider topic of Technical Leadership and Architecture. Currently these are the areas:

  • Sociotechnical Architecture & Systems Design
  • Technical Leadership
  • Software {Architecture, Engineering & Tech}
  • Personal Productivity

I hope you have fun and find some interesting insights here. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or want to chat about these topics.

TLA_insights digest #1

light Visualizing Sociotechnical Architecture with DDD and Team Topologies, Nick Tune

This article presents a visualization Nick Tune has developed called "Core Domain Chart", which enables visualizing the core "elements/capabilities" of a business and with that strategize on different things. In the article Nick looks into how to use Team Topologies ideas into this context.

To drive design and strategy we must understand the different elements at play. Core Domain Charts enable to visualize the different elements and how they interact/position with each other, and with that take better decisions on how to move forward.

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light Recurrent misuse of API-first pattern/strategy, Stefan Tilkov

Very interesting Twitter thread on the misuse of API-first strategy and how to re-focus it on the important elements (especially be outside-in strategy, with customer as central designing force, instead of inside-out).

APIs provide “encapsulation” and a way to expose capabilities of a business. However, they should (must) be built based on the customer(s) that will use them, in true “product development” style.

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light Maker VS Multiplier, Patrick Kua

In this article Pat Kua explores the differences between "Maker" (or "Individual Contributor") and "Multiplier" (or "Leader"). Pat shares a lot of interesting insights on these two "modes", and provides special attention and guidelines on how to transition from a "Maker" to a "Multiplier" (which is a rather common challenge for people becoming, for example, Tech Leads).

When you transition from Individual Contributor (IC), or “Maker”, into a Leadership role (“Multiplier”), make it explicit that you cannot be a “full-time Maker” anymore. You focus is to be “multipler or makers”.

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light First Principles, The Power of Thinking for Yourself, James Clear

This article gives a nice intro to what First Principles thinking is. In a nutshell First Principles thinking is about breaking things/problems down to the atomic pieces/knowledge/truths and from there build up strategies that use those atomic elements so we can best address our particular problem.

Focus on understanding your problems (e.g.: organization situation), its challenges and “DNA” and from there build up strategies to address your particular problems and reach your own goals, from your own atomic elements.

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light Good Enough Architecture, Stefan Tilkov

In this artricle Stefan Tilkov showcases six real world architectures where something "went wrong" and "lessons learned" from that (on technical but also organizational aspects). This is a condensed show of wisdom, where we can learn a lot about several patterns and practices to consider or avoid when architecting systems.

There is always an architecture and as such we better make it explicitly part of our ways of working… no need to full up-front design! Focusing on “good enough” architecture is “enough” to bring alignment and maximize outcomes of our efforts.

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light 5 Things Every Developer Should Know about Software Architecture, Simon Brown

Article series that provides a great overview of essential elements that Developers should know about Software Architecture (just enough up-front design; how fundamental Technical Leadership is to drive Software Architecture; the role of Software Architect and its wide-set of responsibilities; and the importance and approaches to Software Architecture documentation).

Software Architecture when done right is an enabling and multiplying force.

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light Pillars, Pipelines and Vaults (PPV), August Bradley

PPV (Pillars, Pipelines, and Vaults) is a "Personal Productivity System" (or Life Operating System - LifeOS) created by August Bradley to have a "systems thinking" approach to approach all relevant things we need to work on. The primary goal is to enable systems that support us in understanding what is essential for us and then trigger actions or habits that allow us to move forward in that direction consistently. This allows us to set a clear path and effectively move in that direction. August Bradley provides a comprehensive overview to implement this method in Notion.

PPV provides a system that enables capturing your ambitions and goals, and having routines (and supporting tools/elements) to make sure we are progressing towards them, and based on that, have a plan emerging “automatically” to get us focused on executing on the right (important) things.

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