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.


Four additions to my list of Eurogames

Wed 05 Sep 2018 11:00 EDT

Over the last couple of weeks, I've updated my list of Eurogames to include short reviews for four games I acquired earlier this year: Concordia, Kingdom Builder, Azul, and Glass Road.

more…


Changes for 2nd Edition of Refactoring

Wed 05 Sep 2018 07:51 EDT

Here's summary of the changes in the second edition, including a table showing the fate of the original 68 refactorings and a list of the new ones.

more…


photostream 117

Sat 01 Sep 2018 12:42 EDT

Zinal, Switzerland (2014)


Most people will be disappointed by the second edition of Refactoring

Thu 30 Aug 2018 12:03 EDT

I've put a lot of hard work into the second edition of Refactoring. But I reckon that most people will be disappointed by it when it comes out, even though I think it's an improvement over the original. This memo explains why, and why I think that initial reaction ultimately doesn't matter.

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Completing the extraction of a data-rich service

Thu 30 Aug 2018 11:26 EDT

Praful completes the steps of extracting a data rich service by pointing the new service to the new database and removing the dead logic and schema from the monolith.

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Refactoring 2nd Edition rough cut available

Wed 29 Aug 2018 10:03 EDT

A rough cut of the book (after copy-edit, but before proofing) is now available on Safari.

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Agile Australia Keynote: State of Agile in 2018

Mon 27 Aug 2018 11:17 EDT

The transcript of my Agile Australia keynote on agile in 2018. I comment that although agile is now mainstream, much of what is done is faux-agile. I outline three main challenges:

  • stop Agile Industrial Complex imposing process
  • raise importance of tech excellence
  • prefer products over projects

and one reason to be optimistic

more…


How to extract a data-rich service from a monolith

Thu 23 Aug 2018 09:13 EDT

As people get more interested in microservices, there is a growing interest in how to split up an existing monolith into microservices. A few months ago Zhamak Dehghani explored the basic strategy of breaking a monolith into microservices. Now Praful Todkar, another of my colleagues, delves into the details of how you do a service extraction - specifically when that service includes part of the monolith's database. He breaks the process down into a series of steps, starting by identifying the logic and data items that need to be extracted. We'll be releasing further installments of this article, outlining the various steps, over the next couple of weeks.

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 philosophy 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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