Critically Engaging with Models
Mathias Verraes and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Models, whether for a software system, a development process, diseases, political systems, or otherwise, are a way to look at (a part of) the world. They make a choice about what is important, what categories we classify things in, what we see, what’s invisible, what’s valued, or even what’s valid. They are reductionist, that is, they only show a selection of the subject they’re describing. And they are biased: They implicitly reflect the assumptions, constraints, and values of the model’s author.
Most of the time, when you adopt a model created by someone else, you assimilate it into your worldview without much thought. You acquire a new way of seeing something. But when you do that, you may not understand the model’s limitations.
You can choose to look at someone’s model more intentionally. You can critically assess whether this model fits your needs. If you’re looking at a model for the first time, you can use that fresh perspective to see what the model includes and what it leaves out. Models are a powerful lens for perceiving a subject, and we should be deliberate when wielding them. This talk gives you tools for critically evaluating any models that come your way.
- About Mathias Verraes
Student of Systems
Mathias Verraes is the founder of Aardling, a software modelling & design consultancy, with a penchant for complex environments. Mathias' focus is on design strategy and messaging-centric domain modelling.
He has worked with clients in Finance, Government, Supply Chain, Mobility, Energy, E-Commerce, and more. He blogs about software design at verraes.net. Occasionally, he teaches public courses on Domain-Driven Design & messaging. Mathias is also the founder of the DDD Europe conference.
Mathias has a Masters in Music from the Royal Conservatory of Ghent, and is an autodidact on software. When he’s at home in Kortrijk, Belgium, he helps his two sons build crazy Lego contraptions.
- About Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
I'm best known as the "design geek" who invented Responsibility-Driven Design and the xDriven meme (think TDD, BDD, DDD..). I'm keen on learning and sharing design heuristics, patterns and practices for architecting and reducing risk and improving quality on agile projects and programs. I'm a slow jogger... if anyone is interested in an early morning slow jog, it'd be fun to meet and go on a run.