My name is Martin Fowler: I’m an author, speaker, and loud-mouth on the design of enterprise software. This site is dedicated to improving the profession of software development, with a focus on skills and techniques that will last a developer for most of their career. I’m the editor of the site and the most prolific writer. It was originally just my personal site, but over the last few years many colleagues have written excellent material that I’ve been happy to host here. I work for ThoughtWorks, a really rather good software delivery and consulting company. To find your way around this site, go to the intro guide.


News and Updates

My atom feed (RSS) announces any updates to this site, as well as various news about my activities and other things I think you may be interested in. I also make regular announcements via my twitter feed, which I copy to my facebook page.


Basics of Web Application Security: Authentication

Mon 15 Aug 2016 09:53 EDT

If we need to know the identity of our users, for example to control who receives specific content, we need to provide some form of authentication. Cade and Daniel explain the important, but often misunderstood, difference between authentication, authorization, and session management. They then help you understand your options for doing authentication safely.

more…


Future of Serverless Architectures

Thu 04 Aug 2016 09:18 EDT

Mike concludes his overview of serverless architectures with a gaze into the future. He expects many of the drawbacks to be mitigated through tooling and education and to see a growing understanding of the patterns of when and where to use it. He hopes to see moves towards platform independence and approaches that go beyond the simple thinking of FaaS.

more…


Origin of the term “serverless”

Mon 25 Jul 2016 17:51 EDT

A lot of people complain about the use of the term "serverless" in serverless architectures. In this addition Mike outlines where the term came from (not us). He also adds a section and comparing them to containers.

more…


photostream 100

Wed 20 Jul 2016 16:55 EDT

Crater Lake, OR


Drawbacks of Serverless Architectures

Mon 18 Jul 2016 10:08 EDT

Mike slaps serverless architectures with the wet fish of reality, looking at the drawbacks of using this approach. While some of these are due to the current state of tooling, others are an inherent "feature" of this architecture, based on a high degree of dependence on specific vendor capabilities and limitations.

more…


Benefits of Serverless Architectures

Wed 13 Jul 2016 09:35 EDT

Mike continues his examination of serverless architectures by wandering in the land of serverless unicorns and rainbows. Here the serverless style can reduce operational and development costs, drastically reduce scaling costs, ease operational management, and even save the planet from global warming.

more…



Refactoring

Refactoring has become a core skill for software developers, it is the foundation behind evolutionary architecture and modern agile software development. I wrote the original book on refactoring in 2000, and it continues to be an interest of mine.

I’ve recently posted several essays on refactoring here:

  • JavaScript offers many targets for refactoring, so Refactoring a JavaScript Video Store takes the original video store example from the book and explores it in JavaScript. It outlines four directions you can take the refactoring: a nested function with a dispatcher, using classes, and transformation using an intermediate data structure.
  • While most of our logic is written directly in an imperative language, it is sometimes very useful to represent such logic in a data structure. Refactoring to an Adaptive Model describes this refactoring, which produces an adaptive model interpreted by generic code.
  • As a program grows in size it’s important to split it into modules, so that you don’t need to understand all of it to make a small modification. In Refactoring Module Dependencies I modularize a small example using layering and introducing Service Locator and Dependency Injection. I illustrate these using both Java and JavaScript so you can see how this modularization looks in different languages.
  • When I write code that deals with external services, I find it valuable to separate that access code into separate objects. Refactoring code that accesses external services shows how I would refactor some congealed code into a common pattern for this.
  • Modern languages give us the opportunity go beyond the loop as a way of handling repetitive behavior. Refactoring with Loops and Collection Pipelines provides a series of small examples of refactoring loops into my preferred approach.
  • Refactoring Code to Load a Document looks at how manipulating large JSON documents can often be made easier by encapsulating a combination of loading strategies.

TW logo

I discovered ThoughtWorks in 2000: then a small American company whose philosphy of software development was remarkably similar to my own. Now we’ve grown to around 4000 people world-wide, but kept the values that make us special. My colleagues have built critical systems for many clients in that time, and I’ve learned many lessons from them. While doing this, we found we often didn’t have the tools we needed, so we started to build them. This led to open-source tools such as CruiseControl, Selenium, Frank, and Moco as well as commercial products.

I have many opportunities, but I’ve stayed at ThoughtWorks because of the quality of my colleagues, who include both well-known speakers and those who may not be famous names but do an excellent job of software delivery (and feed me the information to write about). We are inspired by working with each other and our unusual three-pillar philosophy that raises professional excellence and social justice to the same level as financial performance.

And we are always looking for more great people to join our curious company. Maybe I’ll see you in one of our offices some day.


Continuous Integration and Delivery

For a long time I’ve been a champion of Continuous Integration which reduces integration risk by integrating early and often, an application of the principle of Frequency Reduces Difficulty. We’ve found CI to be a core technique at ThoughtWorks and use it almost all the time. At the heart of this is a style of development that minimizes long feature branches with techniques like Branch By Abstraction and Feature Toggles.

While this is useful, there was still risk present from software that works in the development environment to getting it to work in production. As a result we developed Deployment Pipelines to reduce this risk, moving closer to our aim of Continuous Delivery: building software in such a way that we confidently deploy the latest builds into production whenever there is a business need. We find this improves feedback, reduces risk, and increases the visibility of project progress.

For more information: take a look at my guide page on Continuous Delivery.

photo: Manuel Gomez Dardenne



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