Udi Dahan   Udi Dahan – The Software Simplist
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What? You mean, for free?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Responding to change – it’s one of the primary agile values. This topic came up over lunch with Sébastien in a rather round about way. Sébastien mentioned that, in French, when his clients communicate with him (and he with them) using the informal address “tu” he finds himself more obliged to comply with their requests than when using the more formal “vous”. The agilists quickly chimed in on the importance of responding to change but my fixed-price background wouldn’t let that go.


For starters, let me say that I’m all for giving the greatest value possible to a client. However, when I’ve got a schedule that can’t slip and can’t recruit a larger team (for whatever reason) and my client asks me if we could also handle some new XYZ scenario, I sometimes answer “no”. My agile friends were even more astonished when I told them that quite a few of my customers respect me for that answer. Just so you understand, the long version of that “no” is:


“Since we can’t slip the schedule any, and we’ve already done away with all the features that could have been cut, and we can’t bring in any new people, I really can’t promise you that if we try to do that additional work the project will stay on track.”


With clients with whom I’ve worked for quite a while, I sometimes use the more glib “what? You mean, for free?”, and we usually have a good laugh over it.


Anyway, bottom line is that change costs. Somebody has to pay, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. If you’re a week or two from shipping, dropping a feature to “make room” for the new feature might not help. So much work may have already been done that to take the old feature out might be more work than leaving it in.


One big thing that I will give to agile over the fixed-price projects is that by forcing customers to define up-front all requirements, and “threatening” with a high cost of subsequent change, customers are made to put in many requirements that they think that they just might need. This is scope creep even before any work’s been done. By allowing the customer to change their mind during the project you are, in one feel swoop, decreasing (often drastically) that scope of the project making it cheaper and easier to give high value.


You’d be surprised by the number of times that clients are just trying to figure out if the cost of additional feature XYZ now is outweighed by its value. Giving an unqualified “yes” short-circuits the necessary discussions around risk that keep the business in the driver’s seat on the project. Sometimes “no” really is the best answer.

Money?! Schedule?! But I'm an architect, not a PM!

Friday, January 5th, 2007

After all contestants presented their solutions in the Iron Architect contest at TechEd Developers in Barcelona, and the judges left the room to deliberate, I put a question to them:

“When can you have your solution in production and how much would it cost?”

You could see the shock on their faces. Architects weren’t supposed to answer these kinds of questions, were they? That’s what project managers are for, right? Eventually, they settled on one month for the schedule question, with only one developer. That’s one month in terms of calendar time. I was shocked by that.

Unless you’re Superman, in the span of one month you cannot learn an existing system, figure out all the new requirements, design, develop, test, and deploy, debug, etc, etc, and keep stakeholders happy and in the loop throughout the whole process. And it doesn’t matter how many developers you have.

And on that point, like you’re really going to be able to find a developer who’s any good at the drop of a hat, get them to leave whatever they’re doing for a month, for a short term project like that.

This topic came up in the speaker dinner when I was talking to Pooya and Jurgen (one of the judges). Architects need to be the glue that connect everything together – business, management, technical, test, operations, etc. They need to fully understand project lifecycle issues. When business comes along with a new requirement, the architect is the one who says if it can be just slipped in or needs to be separately budgeted – not the PM. The PM may have the final call, but the architect is the one who provides the information about the ramifications of changes to the project.

Money? Schedule? All in a day’s work for an architect.

One wrong DLL = 3 months gone

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

A couple of days ago, one of the programmers on a project I’m consulting on came in to ask me a question. With a puzzled look on his face, Alex asked me “Udi, in your design you have these two tiny interfaces, IEntity and IMapEntity, that together wouldn’t justify belonging in their own DLL, and you gave each of them their very own DLL! Why?!” Right then and there I decided to hold a project-wide standup. I got everyone into the room, from project manager, to tester, to programmer, and spun the following scenario.

“Patrick”, I said to the project manager, “you know how we have our iterations set up so that each iteration we work on an entire feature, end to end, and keep the number of features down?” Patrick nodded.

“And Daniel”, I said to our test lead, “you know how you report defects on a feature by feature basis, correlated with the version of the system being tested?” Daniel, too, nodded.

“And Beth”, I said to our SCM/integrator, “you know how each check-in gets the relevant project’s version number to increase, gets built, unit tests run, and, if everything’s OK, the DLL gets put out?” Beth was quick to jump in, “and don’t forget that the version number is taken from the DLL and applied as a label to the corresponding source files.”

“So, what’s the point of all this ceremony?” I asked, turning to the entire group. I got some blank stares. “Why are we doing things like this, and not differently?” Alex spoke up. “This all has to do with the DLL thing I asked you before, doesn’t it?”

I won’t draw this story out too much, so let’s just cut to the chase.

When a tester logs a defect, that defect is tied to a feature and a system wide version number. From that version number, we can find all the specific version numbers of the DLLs that comprise that system wide version number. We can also see which DLLs have changed from the previous iteration. From there, we can find the tree of DLLs which are somehow dependent on those few that have changed. Only a few change because we keep our iterations small. From the specific version of a DLL, we can go into our source control repository and, from the label, find the exact source which comprised that DLL. Those are the source files that a programmer has to sift through in order to locate the origin of the defect.

Obviously, if there is less source to go through, the programmer will, on average, find the origin of the defect faster. And, as we all know, it usually takes longer to find the bug than to actually fix it.

So, by splitting up different classes and interfaces into different DLLs, we can manage dependencies in the system so that less source needs to be examined. For instance, in the case of the interfaces mentioned above, IMapEntity depends on IEntity. However, there are multiple classes that depend on IEntity (like views and presenters/controllers) which don’t really care above IMapEntity. The opposite isn’t true, though. The renderer and layer classes are dependent both on IEntity and IMapEntity. If these two interfaces were in the same DLL, and for a new feature we needed to add the “AlphaBlend” property to IMapEntity, when a bug would be found in that iteration, all the view and presenter classes would have to be examined as well. This is because the version number of the IEntity/IMapEntity DLL would have increased, and all the dependent DLLs could have been adversely affected by that change. Had these two interfaces been separated into different DLLs, this alpha blend change would have left an entire tree of DLLs uninvolved. This means less source for a programmer to look through, which means less time to get the feature working.

While I’m not sure the statement “1 wrong DLL = 3 months gone” is necessarily true, I can’t say it isn’t either. All these tiny little things add up to either huge productivity gains, or losses. Especially when you consider larger, more complex projects. A good design, by itself, can’t save you from the failure conditions described above. You need all the practices in place, working in harmony, and people paying attention to make the project succeed.

That’s if the politics don’t nail you first 🙂

CMMI and other processes – who needs 'em?

Monday, August 1st, 2005

Joel Semeniuk owns up to his secret love – CMMI. So I thought I’d respond with a double counter. CMMI, and its ancestors for that matter, have always leaned toward the “process” side of the People-Process spectrum. The rise of the agile methodologies is something of a collective recoil from process-heavy methodologies. If I had to sum up a lot of the experiences developers have had in process heavy environments I think that this would be it: “Well, finished THAT document, now I get to fill in THIS OTHER form.”

I don’t think that I need to get into the advantages of agile methods, there is already so much out there. However, after this somewhat superficial first counter, I thought I’d counter the counter.

There is method to the madness. No, wait, strike that. There is madness to the method. No, that isn’t right either. Screw it.

Ask a pro golfer to document, in detail, every single step of everything he does to win a golf tournament. Take that huge document, and give it to someone who never played golf before. Chances are you won’t get spectacular results. Chances are you’ll get pretty crappy results. On the other hand, give that document to someone who’s been golfing for a while, and they’ll probably pick up a couple of pointers that will improve their game. Over time, that document will become more valuable to that golfer as they begin to understand the intent of what was written.

Same document, different audience, wildly different results. Interesting, isn’t it?

You see, that “amateur” golfer didn’t follow the document to the letter. Rather, he picked out the practices that he understood and could implement and used those. Over time, and with more practice, our amateur golfer understood more and implemented more. This is the best place of the bell-curve to be on – ever increasing ROI.

I think that maybe we got this whole process thing backwards from the start. Maybe we shouldn’t even have tried to do the whole thing from day one. Is it any wonder that some practices were so poorly implemented that they did more harm than good? If someone who never played golf before tried to swing a club, swivel their hips, lift their heel, and follow through all together the very first time, there’s a good chance the club would smack them in the ass, probably quite painfully.

After you do one minimalist design document, you figure out what things you don’t have to waste your time on and focus on what’s important. The second time, maybe you include a sequence diagram or two because they really explain how the messages flow between the servers. The third time, maybe you write down some architectural principles so that new people coming into the project can figure out why one design was used instead of another. As time progresses, you find that – guess what, you’re doing most of the things found in the design document template. Only difference is you understand why you need them, and how each part hooks into everything else.

It’s hard to tell from a cursory glance the difference between a good design document and a poor one. They both follow the same template, they both have class diagrams, sequence diagrams, etc. The difference is what happens to that document after its “finished”. One is shoved in the drawer and never seen again. The other keeps popping up in all sorts of discussions – “well, that implementation seems alright, but didn’t we say that we don’t want this class to depend on that one?”

I guess all this sounds a little zen, but the journey of a thousand miles…, well you know the rest.

Failures, Overtime, Management, and Accountability

Monday, July 18th, 2005

After Johanna’s comments on my recent post “Programmers don’t make projects fail”, I wanted to find out more about what she thought. With all the traffic I’ve been getting from this post, I think that I’m not the only one. So, I’m going to relate the back-and-forth we had over email.

You said “I understand the 2 hours of overtime, although I’m not sure I agree with it. But any more than that, and you’ve got the first indication of a project in trouble.” Could you clarify that for me? I’m not sure I understand.

Sure. Two hours of overtime *could* be slight mis-estimation. But it’s
more likely to be a symptom of trying to do the minimum necessary to
“complete” the task rather than what the task requires. Example: making
sure the code compiles, rather than doing any peer review or testing.
People can do this with “minimum” overtime, but still not be completing
the work.

I understand now. I wasn’t using “2 hours” as a hard and fast rule that the project is in trouble, rather that I want to know when things are slipping as soon as possible. If it’s mis-estimation, that’s also something I want to know – especially what other estimates we should be revisiting. On the other hand, it could be just a small slip that means nothing.

And finally, I want my programmers to know that they’re not alone against the bleak realities of project development. That there is someone who will actively fight scope-creep, and look out for their interests. I need my programmers to be happy, creative individuals and I don’t want them doing overtime if they don’t have to, especially not to impress me.

I think that this is one aspect of creating a culture of dealing with the real issues on the project. There is so much “filler” work and rework done on projects and none of it actually brings the project any closer to completion.

Lasse Koskela responds with the flip side of the coin:

While it’s very true that programmers doing overtime is a good indicator of timely delivery being at risk, most projects–I’d dare to speculate–are in fact not aware of the need for overtime until very late in the project when it’s already {drum roll, please} too late.

I apparently have had very different experiences. In the projects I’ve been involved with, problems usually stemmed from bad management decisions and politics. When these projects got behind schedule, management played the overtime joker-card without ever considering that there could be real issues that need to be resolved. Programmers would toil nights and weekends, but lets face it, the problems couldn’t be resolved on their level.

On the edge of that very same coin, Digg.com gave a different interpretation to my post:

A rather simplistic approach by the Author but he feels that programmers can contribute only to a certain extent in the project and cannot be held responsible for the failure of a project. Some may agree but some don’t.

As to my simplistic approach, well what else would you expect from The Software Simplist ?

But seriously, programmers can only do so much – especially with changing requirements, no prioritization, no time for testing or quality, politics, and on and on… If you look at the underlying principles found in so many of the Agile methodologies you’ll find: just let the programmers do their job.

When it comes time to hold someone responsible for a project failure, should the poor programmer who was told to work on wildly different things each day take the heat? If we’re talking about project retrospectives, shouldn’t we be focusing on what lessons can be learned from one failure to prevent another?

In my opinion, the person that needs to be held accountable (check out Kent Beck’s discussion on the topic of accountability in this audio presentation at ITConversations) if a project fails is the project manager. He should be holding the development and testing teams accountable for project progress and quality, up to the point the project fails.

A common saying in the Agile camps says:
People trump process. Politics trumps them both.

So true.

Method, Process – and not a class or an EXE to be found

Friday, July 15th, 2005

My man Jimmy’s been bitten by the process bug, but it doesn’t seem to be anything major. Although I don’t consider myself a methodologist, I thought I’d relate a recent story on the topic.

I’m spending part of my time these days as chief architect on the development of a mission planning system. Anyway, this project was running into some budgetary constraints for the current fiscal year. The problem was that the impact would be felt like aftershocks in the coming years. There were three critical modules that were hit by these constraints.

When asked to describe how we were going to develop the system, I began talking in an “implement-by-slice” language and putting dates beside each slice, finally showing what could be completed by the target date (quite a bit less than many stakeholders had in mind). One of the dev leads that was with me wrote it up, and sent it out with the appropriate explanations and commentary.

The next day I was busy in meetings all day long with our local Microsoft branch, who are absolutely amazing, by the way. The following morning I got a call from the project lead: “We’ve got a green light for all the modules – budget, staff, everything.” I didn’t connect the dots, I mean, I just wrote up a fairly standard development plan, no reason for that to have any serious effect, right?

Well, it turns out that this bit of process, implement-by-slice, was new to many of the stakeholders, and when they saw that the system would be stable at numerous points of the project lifecycle, it blew them away. This down-to-earth plan became a framework for concrete discussions about priorities and budgets. It forced everyone to stop daydreaming about what would, someday, be possible, and focus on what needed to be done at every step of the way.

Anyway, this isn’t a commercial for implement-by-slice. Rather, consider it a way to regain focus; while many of us talk about how process doesn’t matter much, I think that that may not be so true. While it may be well backed in terms of the development team, in the larger context of the entire project, process – in terms of the kinds of documents that get circulated, can make a big difference. Lets not fall into the “knee-jerk” trap (via Don Box).

Programmers don't make projects fail

Friday, July 8th, 2005

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine who is a software project manager. We were talking shop when he told me about his team, and how they saved the project. As he related the story it became clear that the team nearly killed themselves saving this project – working 6, sometimes 7 days a week at over 12 hours a day over a 2 month period. This could be just another anecdote for the Chaos report, but I wanted to give my spin on this all too common scenario.

Whenever I recruit somebody, on their first day I explain to them my project philosophy: Programmers don’t make projects fail, even if they don’t work overtime.

If you look at the Chaos report published yearly, I doubt you’ll ever see the lack of overtime on the top-ten list of reasons projects fail. So why is it that whenever a project looks like its getting into trouble to managers pull the overtime card? Could it just be a case of “well, what else could I do?” God, I hope not.

My philosophy is followed with an operative task: If you ever have to do more than 2 hours of overtime in a week, let me know.

Programmers are on the front line. They’re the first to feel that things are beginning to get off track. Even without talking to their manager, they usually try to get things back on track by working more hours.

Overtime is a symptom of much larger problems. It could be that requirements that appeared simple to implement are much more complex (the most insidious kind of scope-creep). It could be that interfaces to external systems we need to interact with aren’t stabilizing in time. It could be anything. Once you see overtime on your radar, it means that you need to start looking for exactly that “anything”.

I’ve been through several such projects where all the pressure was put on the programmers to bring the project to completion. In each case, they did not have the power to do so simply because the problems that needed to be dealt with weren’t technical. The classic saying of “people trump process, and politics trumps them both” rings so true. If you’re the manager, you need to step up and handle the politics or the project’s doomed.

Don’t take the cowardly path – “I pushed the team as hard as I could, literally 24×7, what else could I do?” Unfortunately, many programmers-turned-managers really don’t know any other way – this is what their managers did when projects got into trouble, so they do the same.

Not to end on a doom-and-gloom note, you’d be surprised how quickly you can identify real issues by checking overtime. Of course, the faster you identify these issues, the sooner you can resolve them.

Declaration of Interdependence

Friday, February 4th, 2005

The “Declaration of Interdependence” for modern (agile/adaptive) (product/project) management

Rules to break, Rules to keep

Saturday, June 12th, 2004

Now reading:

First, Break all the rules

All I can say is, if you’re managing people, you should read it.


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Bryan Wheeler, Director Platform Development at msnbc.com
Udi Dahan is the real deal.

We brought him on site to give our development staff the 5-day “Advanced Distributed System Design” training. The course profoundly changed our understanding and approach to SOA and distributed systems.

Consider some of the evidence: 1. Months later, developers still make allusions to concepts learned in the course nearly every day 2. One of our developers went home and made her husband (a developer at another company) sign up for the course at a subsequent date/venue 3. Based on what we learned, we’ve made constant improvements to our architecture that have helped us to adapt to our ever changing business domain at scale and speed If you have the opportunity to receive the training, you will make a substantial paradigm shift.

If I were to do the whole thing over again, I’d start the week by playing the clip from the Matrix where Morpheus offers Neo the choice between the red and blue pills. Once you make the intellectual leap, you’ll never look at distributed systems the same way.

Beyond the training, we were able to spend some time with Udi discussing issues unique to our business domain. Because Udi is a rare combination of a big picture thinker and a low level doer, he can quickly hone in on various issues and quickly make good (if not startling) recommendations to help solve tough technical issues.” November 11, 2010

Sam Gentile Sam Gentile, Independent WCF & SOA Expert
“Udi, one of the great minds in this area.
A man I respect immensely.”

Ian Robinson Ian Robinson, Principal Consultant at ThoughtWorks
"Your blog and articles have been enormously useful in shaping, testing and refining my own approach to delivering on SOA initiatives over the last few years. Over and against a certain 3-layer-application-architecture-blown-out-to- distributed-proportions school of SOA, your writing, steers a far more valuable course."

Shy Cohen Shy Cohen, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft
“Udi is a world renowned software architect and speaker. I met Udi at a conference that we were both speaking at, and immediately recognized his keen insight and razor-sharp intellect. Our shared passion for SOA and the advancement of its practice launched a discussion that lasted into the small hours of the night.
It was evident through that discussion that Udi is one of the most knowledgeable people in the SOA space. It was also clear why – Udi does not settle for mediocrity, and seeks to fully understand (or define) the logic and principles behind things.
Humble yet uncompromising, Udi is a pleasure to interact with.”

Glenn Block Glenn Block, Senior Program Manager - WCF at Microsoft
“I have known Udi for many years having attended his workshops and having several personal interactions including working with him when we were building our Composite Application Guidance in patterns & practices. What impresses me about Udi is his deep insight into how to address business problems through sound architecture. Backed by many years of building mission critical real world distributed systems it is no wonder that Udi is the best at what he does. When customers have deep issues with their system design, I point them Udi's way.”

Karl Wannenmacher Karl Wannenmacher, Senior Lead Expert at Frequentis AG
“I have been following Udi’s blog and podcasts since 2007. I’m convinced that he is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced people in the field of SOA, EDA and large scale systems.
Udi helped Frequentis to design a major subsystem of a large mission critical system with a nationwide deployment based on NServiceBus. It was impressive to see how he took the initial architecture and turned it upside down leading to a very flexible and scalable yet simple system without knowing the details of the business domain. I highly recommend consulting with Udi when it comes to large scale mission critical systems in any domain.”

Simon Segal Simon Segal, Independent Consultant
“Udi is one of the outstanding software development minds in the world today, his vast insights into Service Oriented Architectures and Smart Clients in particular are indeed a rare commodity. Udi is also an exceptional teacher and can help lead teams to fall into the pit of success. I would recommend Udi to anyone considering some Architecural guidance and support in their next project.”

Ohad Israeli Ohad Israeli, Chief Architect at Hewlett-Packard, Indigo Division
“When you need a man to do the job Udi is your man! No matter if you are facing near deadline deadlock or at the early stages of your development, if you have a problem Udi is the one who will probably be able to solve it, with his large experience at the industry and his widely horizons of thinking , he is always full of just in place great architectural ideas.
I am honored to have Udi as a colleague and a friend (plus having his cell phone on my speed dial).”

Ward Bell Ward Bell, VP Product Development at IdeaBlade
“Everyone will tell you how smart and knowledgable Udi is ... and they are oh-so-right. Let me add that Udi is a smart LISTENER. He's always calibrating what he has to offer with your needs and your experience ... looking for the fit. He has strongly held views ... and the ability to temper them with the nuances of the situation.
I trust Udi to tell me what I need to hear, even if I don't want to hear it, ... in a way that I can hear it. That's a rare skill to go along with his command and intelligence.”

Eli Brin, Program Manager at RISCO Group
“We hired Udi as a SOA specialist for a large scale project. The development is outsourced to India. SOA is a buzzword used almost for anything today. We wanted to understand what SOA really is, and what is the meaning and practice to develop a SOA based system.
We identified Udi as the one that can put some sense and order in our minds. We started with a private customized SOA training for the entire team in Israel. After that I had several focused sessions regarding our architecture and design.
I will summarize it simply (as he is the software simplist): We are very happy to have Udi in our project. It has a great benefit. We feel good and assured with the knowledge and practice he brings. He doesn’t talk over our heads. We assimilated nServicebus as the ESB of the project. I highly recommend you to bring Udi into your project.”

Catherine Hole Catherine Hole, Senior Project Manager at the Norwegian Health Network
“My colleagues and I have spent five interesting days with Udi - diving into the many aspects of SOA. Udi has shown impressive abilities of understanding organizational challenges, and has brought the business perspective into our way of looking at services. He has an excellent understanding of the many layers from business at the top to the technical infrstructure at the bottom. He is a great listener, and manages to simplify challenges in a way that is understandable both for developers and CEOs, and all the specialists in between.”

Yoel Arnon Yoel Arnon, MSMQ Expert
“Udi has a unique, in depth understanding of service oriented architecture and how it should be used in the real world, combined with excellent presentation skills. I think Udi should be a premier choice for a consultant or architect of distributed systems.”

Vadim Mesonzhnik, Development Project Lead at Polycom
“When we were faced with a task of creating a high performance server for a video-tele conferencing domain we decided to opt for a stateless cluster with SQL server approach. In order to confirm our decision we invited Udi.

After carefully listening for 2 hours he said: "With your kind of high availability and performance requirements you don’t want to go with stateless architecture."

One simple sentence saved us from implementing a wrong product and finding that out after years of development. No matter whether our former decisions were confirmed or altered, it gave us great confidence to move forward relying on the experience, industry best-practices and time-proven techniques that Udi shared with us.
It was a distinct pleasure and a unique opportunity to learn from someone who is among the best at what he does.”

Jack Van Hoof Jack Van Hoof, Enterprise Integration Architect at Dutch Railways
“Udi is a respected visionary on SOA and EDA, whose opinion I most of the time (if not always) highly agree with. The nice thing about Udi is that he is able to explain architectural concepts in terms of practical code-level examples.”

Neil Robbins Neil Robbins, Applications Architect at Brit Insurance
“Having followed Udi's blog and other writings for a number of years I attended Udi's two day course on 'Loosely Coupled Messaging with NServiceBus' at SkillsMatter, London.

I would strongly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in how to develop IT systems which provide immediate and future fitness for purpose. An influential and innovative thought leader and practitioner in his field, Udi demonstrates and shares a phenomenally in depth knowledge that proves his position as one of the premier experts in his field globally.

The course has enhanced my knowledge and skills in ways that I am able to immediately apply to provide benefits to my employer. Additionally though I will be able to build upon what I learned in my 2 days with Udi and have no doubt that it will only enhance my future career.

I cannot recommend Udi, and his courses, highly enough.”

Nick Malik Nick Malik, Enterprise Architect at Microsoft Corporation
You are an excellent speaker and trainer, Udi, and I've had the fortunate experience of having attended one of your presentations. I believe that you are a knowledgable and intelligent man.”

Sean Farmar Sean Farmar, Chief Technical Architect at Candidate Manager Ltd
“Udi has provided us with guidance in system architecture and supports our implementation of NServiceBus in our core business application.

He accompanied us in all stages of our development cycle and helped us put vision into real life distributed scalable software. He brought fresh thinking, great in depth of understanding software, and ongoing support that proved as valuable and cost effective.

Udi has the unique ability to analyze the business problem and come up with a simple and elegant solution for the code and the business alike.
With Udi's attention to details, and knowledge we avoided pit falls that would cost us dearly.”

Børge Hansen Børge Hansen, Architect Advisor at Microsoft
“Udi delivered a 5 hour long workshop on SOA for aspiring architects in Norway. While keeping everyone awake and excited Udi gave us some great insights and really delivered on making complex software challenges simple. Truly the software simplist.”

Motty Cohen, SW Manager at KorenTec Technologies
“I know Udi very well from our mutual work at KorenTec. During the analysis and design of a complex, distributed C4I system - where the basic concepts of NServiceBus start to emerge - I gained a lot of "Udi's hours" so I can surely say that he is a professional, skilled architect with fresh ideas and unique perspective for solving complex architecture challenges. His ideas, concepts and parts of the artifacts are the basis of several state-of-the-art C4I systems that I was involved in their architecture design.”

Aaron Jensen Aaron Jensen, VP of Engineering at Eleutian Technology
Awesome. Just awesome.

We’d been meaning to delve into messaging at Eleutian after multiple discussions with and blog posts from Greg Young and Udi Dahan in the past. We weren’t entirely sure where to start, how to start, what tools to use, how to use them, etc. Being able to sit in a room with Udi for an entire week while he described exactly how, why and what he does to tackle a massive enterprise system was invaluable to say the least.

We now have a much better direction and, more importantly, have the confidence we need to start introducing these powerful concepts into production at Eleutian.”

Gad Rosenthal Gad Rosenthal, Department Manager at Retalix
“A thinking person. Brought fresh and valuable ideas that helped us in architecting our product. When recommending a solution he supports it with evidence and detail so you can successfully act based on it. Udi's support "comes on all levels" - As the solution architect through to the detailed class design. Trustworthy!”

Chris Bilson Chris Bilson, Developer at Russell Investment Group
“I had the pleasure of attending a workshop Udi led at the Seattle ALT.NET conference in February 2009. I have been reading Udi's articles and listening to his podcasts for a long time and have always looked to him as a source of advice on software architecture.
When I actually met him and talked to him I was even more impressed. Not only is Udi an extremely likable person, he's got that rare gift of being able to explain complex concepts and ideas in a way that is easy to understand.
All the attendees of the workshop greatly appreciate the time he spent with us and the amazing insights into service oriented architecture he shared with us.”

Alexey Shestialtynov Alexey Shestialtynov, Senior .Net Developer at Candidate Manager
“I met Udi at Candidate Manager where he was brought in part-time as a consultant to help the company make its flagship product more scalable. For me, even after 30 years in software development, working with Udi was a great learning experience. I simply love his fresh ideas and architecture insights.
As we all know it is not enough to be armed with best tools and technologies to be successful in software - there is still human factor involved. When, as it happens, the project got in trouble, management asked Udi to step into a leadership role and bring it back on track. This he did in the span of a month. I can only wish that things had been done this way from the very beginning.
I look forward to working with Udi again in the future.”

Christopher Bennage Christopher Bennage, President at Blue Spire Consulting, Inc.
“My company was hired to be the primary development team for a large scale and highly distributed application. Since these are not necessarily everyday requirements, we wanted to bring in some additional expertise. We chose Udi because of his blogging, podcasting, and speaking. We asked him to to review our architectural strategy as well as the overall viability of project.
I was very impressed, as Udi demonstrated a broad understanding of the sorts of problems we would face. His advice was honest and unbiased and very pragmatic. Whenever I questioned him on particular points, he was able to backup his opinion with real life examples. I was also impressed with his clarity and precision. He was very careful to untangle the meaning of words that might be overloaded or otherwise confusing. While Udi's hourly rate may not be the cheapest, the ROI is undoubtedly a deal. I would highly recommend consulting with Udi.”

Robert Lewkovich, Product / Development Manager at Eggs Overnight
“Udi's advice and consulting were a huge time saver for the project I'm responsible for. The $ spent were well worth it and provided me with a more complete understanding of nServiceBus and most importantly in helping make the correct architectural decisions earlier thereby reducing later, and more expensive, rework.”

Ray Houston Ray Houston, Director of Development at TOPAZ Technologies
“Udi's SOA class made me smart - it was awesome.

The class was very well put together. The materials were clear and concise and Udi did a fantastic job presenting it. It was a good mixture of lecture, coding, and question and answer. I fully expected that I would be taking notes like crazy, but it was so well laid out that the only thing I wrote down the entire course was what I wanted for lunch. Udi provided us with all the lecture materials and everyone has access to all of the samples which are in the nServiceBus trunk.

Now I know why Udi is the "Software Simplist." I was amazed to find that all the code and solutions were indeed very simple. The patterns that Udi presented keep things simple by isolating complexity so that it doesn't creep into your day to day code. The domain code looks the same if it's running in a single process or if it's running in 100 processes.”

Ian Cooper Ian Cooper, Team Lead at Beazley
“Udi is one of the leaders in the .Net development community, one of the truly smart guys who do not just get best architectural practice well enough to educate others but drives innovation. Udi consistently challenges my thinking in ways that make me better at what I do.”

Liron Levy, Team Leader at Rafael
“I've met Udi when I worked as a team leader in Rafael. One of the most senior managers there knew Udi because he was doing superb architecture job in another Rafael project and he recommended bringing him on board to help the project I was leading.
Udi brought with him fresh solutions and invaluable deep architecture insights. He is an authority on SOA (service oriented architecture) and this was a tremendous help in our project.
On the personal level - Udi is a great communicator and can persuade even the most difficult audiences (I was part of such an audience myself..) by bringing sound explanations that draw on his extensive knowledge in the software business. Working with Udi was a great learning experience for me, and I'll be happy to work with him again in the future.”

Adam Dymitruk Adam Dymitruk, Director of IT at Apara Systems
“I met Udi for the first time at DevTeach in Montreal back in early 2007. While Udi is usually involved in SOA subjects, his knowledge spans all of a software development company's concerns. I would not hesitate to recommend Udi for any company that needs excellent leadership, mentoring, problem solving, application of patterns, implementation of methodologies and straight out solution development.
There are very few people in the world that are as dedicated to their craft as Udi is to his. At ALT.NET Seattle, Udi explained many core ideas about SOA. The team that I brought with me found his workshop and other talks the highlight of the event and provided the most value to us and our organization. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to recommend him.”

Eytan Michaeli Eytan Michaeli, CTO Korentec
“Udi was responsible for a major project in the company, and as a chief architect designed a complex multi server C4I system with many innovations and excellent performance.”

Carl Kenne Carl Kenne, .Net Consultant at Dotway AB
“Udi's session "DDD in Enterprise apps" was truly an eye opener. Udi has a great ability to explain complex enterprise designs in a very comprehensive and inspiring way. I've seen several sessions on both DDD and SOA in the past, but Udi puts it in a completly new perspective and makes us understand what it's all really about. If you ever have a chance to see any of Udi's sessions in the future, take it!”

Avi Nehama, R&D Project Manager at Retalix
“Not only that Udi is a briliant software architecture consultant, he also has remarkable abilities to present complex ideas in a simple and concise manner, and...
always with a smile. Udi is indeed a top-league professional!”

Ben Scheirman Ben Scheirman, Lead Developer at CenterPoint Energy
“Udi is one of those rare people who not only deeply understands SOA and domain driven design, but also eloquently conveys that in an easy to grasp way. He is patient, polite, and easy to talk to. I'm extremely glad I came to his workshop on SOA.”

Scott C. Reynolds Scott C. Reynolds, Director of Software Engineering at CBLPath
“Udi is consistently advancing the state of thought in software architecture, service orientation, and domain modeling.
His mastery of the technologies and techniques is second to none, but he pairs that with a singular ability to listen and communicate effectively with all parties, technical and non, to help people arrive at context-appropriate solutions. Every time I have worked with Udi, or attended a talk of his, or just had a conversation with him I have come away from it enriched with new understanding about the ideas discussed.”

Evgeny-Hen Osipow, Head of R&D at PCLine
“Udi has helped PCLine on projects by implementing architectural blueprints demonstrating the value of simple design and code.”

Rhys Campbell Rhys Campbell, Owner at Artemis West
“For many years I have been following the works of Udi. His explanation of often complex design and architectural concepts are so cleanly broken down that even the most junior of architects can begin to understand these concepts. These concepts however tend to typify the "real world" problems we face daily so even the most experienced software expert will find himself in an "Aha!" moment when following Udi teachings.
It was a pleasure to finally meet Udi in Seattle Alt.Net OpenSpaces 2008, where I was pleasantly surprised at how down-to-earth and approachable he was. His depth and breadth of software knowledge also became apparent when discussion with his peers quickly dove deep in to the problems we current face. If given the opportunity to work with or recommend Udi I would quickly take that chance. When I think .Net Architecture, I think Udi.”

Sverre Hundeide Sverre Hundeide, Senior Consultant at Objectware
“Udi had been hired to present the third LEAP master class in Oslo. He is an well known international expert on enterprise software architecture and design, and is the author of the open source messaging framework nServiceBus. The entire class was based on discussion and interaction with the audience, and the only Power Point slide used was the one showing the agenda.
He started out with sketching a naive traditional n-tier application (big ball of mud), and based on suggestions from the audience we explored different solutions which might improve the solution. Whatever suggestions we threw at him, he always had a thoroughly considered answer describing pros and cons with the suggested solution. He obviously has a lot of experience with real world enterprise SOA applications.”

Raphaël Wouters Raphaël Wouters, Owner/Managing Partner at Medinternals
“I attended Udi's excellent course 'Advanced Distributed System Design with SOA and DDD' at Skillsmatter. Few people can truly claim such a high skill and expertise level, present it using a pragmatic, concrete no-nonsense approach and still stay reachable.”

Nimrod Peleg Nimrod Peleg, Lab Engineer at Technion IIT
“One of the best programmers and software engineer I've ever met, creative, knows how to design and implemet, very collaborative and finally - the applications he designed implemeted work for many years without any problems!

Jose Manuel Beas
“When I attended Udi's SOA Workshop, then it suddenly changed my view of what Service Oriented Architectures were all about. Udi explained complex concepts very clearly and created a very productive discussion environment where all the attendees could learn a lot. I strongly recommend hiring Udi.”

Daniel Jin Daniel Jin, Senior Lead Developer at PJM Interconnection
“Udi is one of the top SOA guru in the .NET space. He is always eager to help others by sharing his knowledge and experiences. His blog articles often offer deep insights and is a invaluable resource. I highly recommend him.”

Pasi Taive Pasi Taive, Chief Architect at Tieto
“I attended both of Udi's "UI Composition Key to SOA Success" and "DDD in Enterprise Apps" sessions and they were exceptionally good. I will definitely participate in his sessions again. Udi is a great presenter and has the ability to explain complex issues in a manner that everyone understands.”

Eran Sagi, Software Architect at HP
“So far, I heard about Service Oriented architecture all over. Everyone mentions it – the big buzz word. But, when I actually asked someone for what does it really mean, no one managed to give me a complete satisfied answer. Finally in his excellent course “Advanced Distributed Systems”, I got the answers I was looking for. Udi went over the different motivations (principles) of Services Oriented, explained them well one by one, and showed how each one could be technically addressed using NService bus. In his course, Udi also explain the way of thinking when coming to design a Service Oriented system. What are the questions you need to ask yourself in order to shape your system, place the logic in the right places for best Service Oriented system.

I would recommend this course for any architect or developer who deals with distributed system, but not only. In my work we do not have a real distributed system, but one PC which host both the UI application and the different services inside, all communicating via WCF. I found that many of the architecture principles and motivations of SOA apply for our system as well. Enough that you have SW partitioned into components and most of the principles becomes relevant to you as well. Bottom line – an excellent course recommended to any SW Architect, or any developer dealing with distributed system.”

Consult with Udi

Guest Authored Books
Chapter: Introduction to SOA    Article: The Enterprise Service Bus and Your SOA

97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know

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