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Link Roundup, 2-5-15: Software Architecture Modeling

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Software Architecture Modeling
Last summer, a Mother Jones article by Tasneem Raja asked, "Is coding the new literacy?" The answer is yes and no, because the point is not to increase "the number of kids who can crank out thousands of lines of JavaScript" but "to boost the number who understand what code can do" and can think up good ways to apply it. To do this, computer science education must first undergo a paradigm shift, from "reinforcing the notion that code is just for coders" to leading with computational thinking, which CMU's Jeannette Wing defines as "solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior."

Our first link in this roundup takes this question and answer on a path that leads us to software architecture modeling. Coding Is Not the New Literacy: In a recent blog post, Chris Granger argues, "We build mental models of everything--from how to tie our shoes to the way macro-economic systems work. With these, we make decisions, predictions, and understand our experiences. If we want computers to be able to compute for us, then we have to accurately extract these models from our heads and record them. Writing Python isn't the fundamental skill we need to teach people. Modeling systems is."

Why Isn't the Architecture in the Code?: Simon Brown of Coding the Architecture explains how he starts describing a software system--by drawing a system context diagram that shows not only the system but also user types and system dependencies. The diagram gradually becomes more detailed as Brown works through what he calls his C4 software architecture model. Brown stresses the importance of encouraging people to think about software architecture so that they can reason about systems. Introducing Model-Driven Design & Implementation (MDDI): A CACI and No Magic Innovation: At the 2014 No Magic World Conference, David Buckler of CACI introduced the model-driven design and implementation (MMDI) method. The architecture-centric MDDI envisions a system before implementation and aims to solve problems before they interfere with mission success. Both video and slides are available. We are pleased that Simon Brown will speak at SATURN 2015, on the topic of "Software Architecture as Code." Join us in Baltimore at SATURN 2015 by registering today!

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Bill Pollak

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