The road to complexity hell is plastered with well intended technologies. And after I’ve had to deal with Apple Xcode’s Interface Builder in every big client project, I’m convinced its promises are an illusion.

So why am I such a hater on the Interface Builder? An even better question is: Why would any professional use it? While the IB may help to build simple rough prototypes (I’m not even sure about that), it is no option for professional apps.

Five Violated Principles

This article ends on a list of 25 issues that I experienced with the Interface Builder across many projects. However, those…


This is the second and last “axiomatic” discussion. The texts follwing this one will build more upon already introduced ideas and ultimately tie them all together.

Structure Sets the Stage

The natural laws of life relate to its structure. The structure of a thing is defined by its elements and the relationships between them. The elements of life are atoms, organic compounds, peptides, lipids, RNA, DNA, amino acids and so forth. And how they relate to each other obviously makes all the difference.

The natural laws of code also relate to structure. So what are the elements and relationships in code?

Previously, we explored…


If software architecture roots in a set of laws that naturally apply to all code, then what are these laws? Let’s narrow down the first one! In this text, we excavate the fundamental role of software architecture by digging into the essence of code.

Note, that when we talk of users, designers, developers and so forth, we mean abstract view points, not job descriptions or actual people. Could be that one person plays all the roles, could be that a view point is held by an institution or certain demographic. The possible concretions don’t matter here.

Value Environment and Tech Environment

To uncover the nature…


Is Architecture for Buildings?

Software architecture is a fuzzy term and we’ll deconstruct it anyway, so let’s not get bogged down by “definitions”. Instead, let’s build upon our intuitive understanding and address common misconceptions.

In the realm of software, architecture is, first and foremost, a metaphor. It’s a useful one. But, like with any metaphor, you can take it to a point where it breaks down. Its applicability is limited and depends on what aspects we want to illuminate.

One aspect in which the metaphor fails software is this: Real world construction requires up front design while software can evolve organically. The software architect…


From Timeless Principles to Timely Products - Introduction

his starts a series of book excerpts from: “Zen in the Art of Software Architecture — From Timeless Principles to Timely Products”. The draft keeps evolving, and I change published content without highlighting every edit. Last edit: May 27, 2019

The Call to Adventure

When I was eleven, I taught myself Pascal and, shortly after, C++, Windows programming, DirectX and game development. I remember cranking out countless over-engineered little beasts of code.

Again and again, those games, game engines and architectural frameworks would lead into dead ends, where their structure hopelessly diverged from their purpose or their complexity brought them to a halt.


I was missing a self-management tool that fits my needs. So I built it. This article is about why I had to create something new, how it changed the way I feel and, ultimately, how interaction design can support creative flow states.

More about the app itself is at flowlistapp.com.

1. An Itch to Scratch

Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by all the stuff I have to do, and even more by all the stuff I’m passionate about. So most of my life, I’ve been on a quest to sort myself out, get more shit done and turn more ideas into real things.

The task managers…


A 7 Step Strategy for Songwriters and Producers

Creating dreamy indie pop is a passion of mine. When I was 5, I started violin practice. More than 20 years ago, I started composing on my computer. Now I’m putting together an album for the bloody first time. And as I have to decide on 2 or 3 more demos to include in the production, the hundreds of ideas I collected over two decades do what they do best: paralyzing me.

Why am I telling you this? In this article, I’ll describe a problem that any music producer runs into sooner or later: being bogged down by musical baggage…


Disclaimer: My dear reader, in this article, I talk directly to YOU. I may even ask you to do something. However, my point of view merely reflects my own life experience. I invite you put it on like a shoe. See if it fits and take it for what it’s worth.

Know Thyself

What is the very first step of self-development or personal growth? Taking action? Setting goals? Finding a life purpose? Explicating values? I say it all begins with knowing yourself.

You gotta know what you’re dealing with before you start working on yourself. You want to choose a path that…


Disclaimer: My dear reader, in this article, I talk directly to YOU. I may even ask you to do something. However, my point of view merely reflects my own life experience. I invite you put it on like a shoe. See if it fits and take it for what it’s worth.

You’re Also Human? How Crazy is That?

Do you have many different things going on in your life? Do you seek out new challenges? Do you want to discover everything you are? Then I consider you an all-rounder like myself.

Creative people like entrepreneurs or artists are typical alrounders, as their work involves a bunch of…


Disclaimer: My dear reader, in this article, I talk directly to YOU. I may even ask you to do something. However, my point of view merely reflects my own life experience. I invite you put it on like a shoe. See if it fits and take it for what it’s worth.

Self Transformation and the Limits of Technique

There where times in my life when I felt like a sports car without a spark plug. Everything was in position, everything was optimized, the gas tank was full. But I couldn’t get started. It was a nightmare.

For instance, whenever I sat down to work on my master…

Sebastian Fichtner

Software engineer, clean architecture, Swift, flowtoolz.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store