Getting good at volatility decomposition

Designing by #Volatility decomposition is miles more difficult than designing by Functional decomposition.

It’s a skill. And as which any skill, practice makes perfect.

“You can never be good at something that you spend 2% or less of your time on.” — J. Löwy (at 53:11, Dolittle, J., 2020, April 24)

Practice on corpses

As a customer, you never want to be patient number 1 from a doctor.

Like how doctors practice on corpses, you shall practice on dead systems.

Analyse and try identify the volatilities, use-cases, and components. Ask yourself:

  • What use-cases can you identify: An old project will have all of its use-cases already defined. Much simpler to seek out the existing ones than to identify the unknown use-cases in a planned project.

  • What core use-cases can you identify: What is actually the core use-case of this system? What counts as fluff?

  • How did it segregate the use-cases: Which components was created to separate the different concerns? How was it decompositioned? No answer is absolute. Some parts will have been made better than others.

  • What went wrong: What could have been changed that would’ve been benefitial for the system?

  • What went good: What did the project do right; that you can take inspiration from in future projects?

Not only past projects

Designing the architecture (or in this case, analysing existing architectures) is not restricted to software. It can be found everywhere.

Try to practice Finding a system’s volatilities# on systems such as a grocery store, a car, your house, a game, etc.

You should practice on:

  • Past software systems
  • Current software systems
  • Systems from other companies
  • Non-software systems

When you are ready

The biggest issue you will have is your Issues with the manager#. You will have to fight the manager, and your coworkers, with designing the system in any other way than Functional decomposition.

This is a losing battle. You won’t have managers that are kind hearted and trust you to get a good design out in a year, while no one is allowed to write any code. You won’t get that time! They want their product!

You need to be so good at #Volatility decomposition that you can do it so quickly so that no one notices, and more importantly so quickly that no one has any time to argue against you.

By the time they want to argue about your orthodox design procedure, there will already be a design in front of them that they can start working on.