Architect Bookshelf: First, Break All the Rules

by on January 12, 2009

First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

This is the second business book I'm adding to my bookshelf series. This book has taken the business world by storm and has become required reading in most MBA schools. I include it in my collection here for one for a very important reason: it will help you stay employed during these turbulent economic times.

It's a fast read and contained within its 270 pages are some of the most profound (and counter-intuitive) secrets ever revealed about how the biggest and most successful companies in the world do business. It's based on a Gallup study of over 80,000 managers from 400 different companies and is to date the largest study of its kind. There are lessons on economics, leadership, and career management with concrete guidance on how to apply these lessons to everyday situations.

Besides the face value of increasing your business acumen, there's also a hidden benefit to this book - you will be able to recognize which companies are worth working for. Sounds easy, but the speed at which companies fold or turn over, there's no better career skill than being able to assess the caliber of the company's values, leadership, and talent. You'll never look at your manager the same way after reading this book.


Check out the complete Architect Bookshelf series for more recommendations for software architects.

Application Architecture Guide V2.0 Released!

by on December 19, 2008

I'm thrilled to announce that the new edition of this book has been released. For those of you who develop on the .NET platform, this is THE reference architecture book for you. In fact, it's often referred to as the "Microsoft playbook for application architecture". I've carried around a paperback copy of the first edition in my backpack since the day it was released. This updated version is even more special to me because I have been participating as a technical reviewer since the revision began. We've learned a lot more about building great .NET applications since the first release of the book and I wanted to make sure it was all captured in this new edition. I'm extremely pleased with the results. I hope you are as well.


Application Architecture Guide 2.0

Application Architecture Guide 2.0 by Microsoft patterns & practices

This guide provides design-level guidance for the architecture and design of applications built on the .NET Framework. It focuses on the most common types of applications, partitioning application functionality into layers, components, and services, and walks through their key design characteristics.This guide is a collaborative effort between patterns & practices, product teams, and industry experts. This guide is related to our Application Architecture Guide v2.0 Knowledge Base Project.

Visit to see the full line of existing patterns & practices guidance.


Special thanks to J. D. Meier for contacting me and allowing me to participate.

How Microsoft Does Distributed Agile Development

by on November 18, 2008


Distributed Agile Development at Microsoft patterns & practices

Distributed development is a fact of life for many teams. Unfortunately most agile methodologies or approaches assume that the team is located in a single team room. Until recently there has been little guidance about how to apply these approaches with a geographically dispersed team.

Microsoft’s patterns & practices group has been following an agile, distributed development approach for the past five years. During this time teams within the group have experimented extensively with different approaches to best address the challenges of distributed agile development. This paper outlines the challenges faced by geographically distributed agile teams and details some proven practices to address these issues and build successful distributed teams.


There's also an Agile Development Showcase portal inside MSDN that provides even more great guidance around agile development.


Visit to see the full line of existing patterns & practices guidance.