Prof. David West

Prof. David West

Ultra-Large Scale Systems




Dave West began his computing career as a Computer Operator / Programmer in 1968 — the same year that “Software Engineering” became a profession. He has participated in every movement and revolution in computing since then, including: structured development, databases- and data-driven development, object development, agile development, patterns, domain-driven design, and design thinking. He pursued simultaneous careers as a professional developer and academic. Today he provides mentoring, training, coaching, and consulting services to teams and organizations seeking transformative change.

Ultra-Large Scale Systems

Governments, City Planners, Social System Designers, and even the military recognize the need to understand ultra-large scale complex systems, because that is the future of software/systems development. This talk will briefly discuss the definition of ULS and why they differ from systems with which we are familiar; then it will identify five critical challenges posed by complex systems — e.g. the need to integrate human beings as computational components — and suggest practical approaches for dealing with all five.

Techniques For Complex Domains

Two day workshop with Prof. David West

Fifty years of software engineering have taught us how to understand, model, and design 'ordinary' systems — even those that are large scale and highly complicated.

The next fifty years will demand something quite different from the software/systems community: the design of ultra-large scale, complex adaptive systems.

Examples of such systems would include the Web, a traffic management system for a city, computer-based system for employment (re)training, a unified medical information system, etc. Not to mention systems that might support solutions to critical global problems like climate change.

This workshop will provide a practical approach for understanding, modeling, and designing complex systems for deployment in complex domains. Covered topics:

  • A brief overview of ultra-large scale and complex adaptive systems
  • "Wicked Problems" and specific, critical, challenges posed by ultra-large scale complex systems.
  • Techniques for analyzing, modeling and understanding complex systems
    • Lessons from General Systems
    • Simple tools for modeling complex systems
    • How to isolate targets for change without losing context and connection to the rest of the system
  • Techniques for designing ‘solutions’ posed by complex systems and modifications to complex systems
    • Identifying the behavior of individual elements and relationships participating in the complex system; i.e. what behavior do they contribute to the system and/or other elements within that system.
    • Identifying ‘dependencies” and therefore ‘side-effects’ that can/will arise from introducing change
    • Isolating and initiating change
  • Techniques for implementing your designs, including code
    • Programs and code that is as adaptable as your system (changeable as rapidly as your system changes)
    • Revisiting the Object model for code
  • Techniques for establishing development processes compatible with complex systems design and managing those processes
    • Team development and discrete developmental tasks
    • What to do when things blow up in your face
    • Managing the work — lessons from Extreme Programming
    • Individual challenges and how you can be a better designer/developer

Prof. David West at Domain–Driven Design Europe 2017

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Amsterdam, Jan 30 – Feb 2, 2018



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