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Vladik Khononov

Senior Cloud Architect at DoiT International


Balancing Coupling in Software Design
architecture, coupling, design, microservices, ddd

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We are used to treating coupling as the necessary evil. Hence, we aim to break systems apart into the smallest services possible, in the ever-lasting quest of decoupling everything. But what results are we getting by following this reasoning? — Instead of the promised land of evolvable systems, many such “decouple everything” endeavors lead straight into the chains of distributed monoliths. Can we do better? What if there is a better way to handle coupling in distributed systems? Or even, what if instead of fighting coupling, we can use it as a heuristic for designing systems that are actually evolvable and maintainable? That’s exactly what you will learn in this session: what coupling is, and how you can use it as a design tool. We will start by taking a journey through time, and explore the different models of evaluating coupling. Next, we will combine the existing knowledge into a coherent model — a simple function for evaluating a system’s decomposition into components. This function will allow you to assess the expected effort for evolving a system and use it as a heuristic for optimizing the distributed system’s design.


Vlad (Vladik) Khononov is a software engineer with over 20 years of industry experience, during which he has worked for companies large and small in roles ranging from webmaster to chief architect. Vlad maintains an active media career as a public speaker, blogger, and author. He travels the world consulting and talking about domain-driven design, microservices, and software architecture in general. Vlad helps companies make sense of their business domains, untangle legacy systems, and tackle complex architectural challenges. Vladik lives in Northern Israel with his wife and an almost-reasonable number of cats.