December 14, 2009


Due to my boss requesting an architecture review, I just find myself trying to put together all those pen&paper discussions I had with people on the team and rethinking the decisions I have made on how the project is set up and the application is structured.

While doing this, I find myself in a rather interesting situation: I realize that quite a lot of my decisions were based on intuition (which is of course likely driven by experience). Those decisions were not the result of a traditional, concious Analysis-Thesis-Synthesis approach. Much more, the process obviously happened somewhere in the back of my mind and at some point it comes back to the surface and presents me a solution that just "feels" right. Luckily most of those solutions proof useful over time and withstand all kinds of project challenges.

Nevertheless it leaves me thoughtfully. Should I break my habits and switch to e.g. famous +/- lists? How do I explain certain decisions? "I have a good feeling" is hardly an explanation my boss will eat...

I think Kevlin Hennley mentioned it in his talk "Five Considerations for Software Architects" that there is nothing wrong about making intuitive decisions. After all intuition comes a lot from experience. But "I had the idea under the shower" is likely an explanation that not all people will accept. People are different, Myers-Briggs spent a lot of time on this - and a lot of people don't take intuition as an argument. It always makes sense to rationalize your decisions afterwards, so that everyone can understand them. If your decisions proof right, it should be easy to rationalize them anyway.


Desertfox said...

How about making the decision first and then make the +/- list to support the decision?

Erich Eichinger said...

that's exactly what I'm doing - atm frankly only on request ;-)