I gave a talk at Velocity Conference Europe 2016 called How to break apart a monolithic system safely without destroying your team based on work we have done at Skelton Thatcher Consulting over the past few years with various organisations.
The slides are on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/SkeltonThatcher/teams-and-monoliths-matthew-skelton-velocity-eu-2016 and the video of the talk will be online soon.
The main take-aways from the talk are:
- Recognise that by starting with the needs of the team, we can avoid cognitive overload, thereby making future development more sustainable
- Understand the type of monolith you are dealing with (there are many kinds of monolith)
- Consider using Code Forensics (see Your Code as a Crime Scene)
- Find the natural ‘fracture planes’ in your code and work with these
- Instrument the monolith before splitting it up
- Understand data flows and fault responses
- Split off one segment of code at a time, considering the cognitive load for the team
There is quite a bit more in the talk itself, including the effect of Conway’s Law, the benefits of monoliths, and real-world examples from client engagements.
A big thanks from me to the organisers of VelocityConf for their hard work, to the audience in my talk for some excellent questions, and to the speaker selection panel for choosing my talk (!).