The Heart of Software

The heart of software is solving business problems. Have you heard it? Yes, so have I. The fact that it’s so rarely recognized or practiced is just inexplicable.

It’s not about programming. Nor is it about technology. Nor is it about languages, testing, architectures, networking, whatever. Sure, these are nice tools. But they are only tools. It’s amazing how much focus is paid to tools and how little to the problem at hand. What would you say to a carpenter who delivered wobbly (but still expensive) furniture for your dream kitchen only because the tools he had were bought at a “as much as you can carry for $10” bargain? You don’t care about his tools. You want a functional, robust product.

The purpose of frameworks, libraries and architecture is to serve, not command. When a framework imposes uncomfortable restrictions or affects the way your business logic and model is shaping up, in the best case it’s unsuitable for the problem. Don’t use it. Choosing an unsuitable or unknown tool only because it looks nice in resume is a cardinal sin deserving capital professional punishment.

Whatever you do, focus on the big picture. In case of software, it should be solving the business problem of your customer.

By no means is it a novel idea, but still it is extremely important and too rarely understood. The reason why it’s here is that it’s going to be an introduction to a series of articles on Domain-Driven Design. It’s a great approach to software development itself (like the rant above), but also to object-oriented programming and design. That’s what makes all the trendy OO* techniques shine. It’s a shame how often it is overlooked by teachers. If there’s one book every OO/business developer has to read, it’s “Domain-Driven Design” by Eric Evans.

OO* without DDD (or at least its bulk concepts) is like giving a diploma in architecture to everyone who can hold a pencil and draw on a sheet of paper. Regardless of whether what she produces is a usable, solid construction.

One thought on “The Heart of Software

  1. Konrad, I first clicked on the link because I thought that the article discusses DDD, the linux debugger. However, I enjoyed reading this article. I agree software is about solving problems and not only on the love of the technology. I also agree that most people often miss the big picture.

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