For those who don’t get technical debt

Brick wall with the words “UNTIL DEBT TEAR US APART” painted on it
Brick wall with the words “UNTIL DEBT TEAR US APART” painted on it
Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash.

1. Tidying Your Desk

My desk is easy to imagine. It has space for my MacBook, a screen, cables for various things, a mouse, my notebook and pen, and by the end of the day, about three dozen Post-it notes of various colours scattered in any available space.

If I don’t take the time to tidy, that daily scattering of Post-its will pile up. Early notes will be hidden by later notes. Come Friday, my desk will look like a neon autumn. And that won’t be my only problem. …


Understand how your system looks from a height

top-down view of a pinball machine
top-down view of a pinball machine
Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

Microservices are great. They’ve enabled us to break apart those legacy monolithic industrial applications and replace them with a fleet of zippy services. I don’t need to tell you why that’s great for a modern organisation — there are plenty of materials out there that will tell you the benefits of microservices, and just as important, the downsides. I’m assuming you’ve done your homework and are happily migrating to microservices (or are planning to) or have done so and are living with the outcome.

My microservices experience comes from working with customer-facing web and mobile applications. I’ve seen two distinct…


It’s a PITA for Online Grocers, but what is it?

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What is PSD2?

The 2007 Payment Services Directive was an initiative which aimed to establish a single payment market in the European Union to promote innovation, competition and efficiency in the EU that became a piece of pan-European legislation in 2009.

The Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is an updated proposal accepted by the European Parliament in 2015. There are many parts to PSD2, but the bit that matters most to me, that I will focus on for this article, is Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).

What is Strong Customer Authentication?

In this context, Authentication refers to proving the actor claiming to be the cardholder is in fact, the…


Answer: It depends on which way you’re facing

Photo by Takehiro Tomiyama on Unsplash

All Architecture is Design. But not all Design is Architecture.

Events at work recently caused me to analyze what it means to be a Solution Architect and to face the above question. Just what is the distinction?

Non-Architects often don’t really understand what Architects do or the value they provide and often consider the Architect to simply be a more senior techie. And Architects themselves can support that confusion by playing to that stereotype.

I’ve been a Solution Architect for just over a decade now, but until recently I would have struggled to give a concise answer to the question…


Architecture has changed — did you notice?

Photo by Delaney Turner on Unsplash

Old-School Architecture

Throughout the world, pre-Agile software development was commonly done using a waterfall-based delivery model made up of a sequence of distinct activities performed by specialists. Hand-offs between stages are usually weighty documents — the keys required to unlock the next stage. All these models were variants on a common theme:

  1. Requirements
  2. Analysis
  3. High-level design
  4. Low-level design
  5. Development
  6. Testing
  7. Deployment
  8. Release

Getting from start to finish would be a matter of months or maybe even years.

The key responsibility of the Solution Architect in this world is to produce the High-level design — an artefact that ostensibly tells the dev team…

Steve Cornish

Digital Architect, eCommerce & Onmichannel Commerce specialist

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