Today, my colleague Eric Bouwers is defending his PhD thesis. As usual in the Netherlands, he starts of with a layman’s talk. Eric wonderfully starts to explain what an architecture is, by showing us the difference between the original sketches of his bathroom and a current picture. With a bathroom, it is quite easy to see the difference, but in software, it often isn’t so clear that there is a mismatch between the design and the implementation.
He continues to use the metaphor of his home by showing us the report that was made when he bought his home, in which several aspects of the home were evaluated with a checklist. This checklist showed that is was safe for Eric to but the home, in other words, that there were no hidden troubles in the house. This is exactly was Eric did in his PhD project: creating a metric-based checklist to validate how good an implemented architecture is.
Eric has evaluated this method with experts at his employer SIG and luckily those experts found the list very useful.