January 17, 2018 / by Simplicity Itself Team / In Case Studies

Maintaining the Pace of Change, Simplicity Itself visits Snowflake Software

Snowflake Software, like many great software houses, is populated by highly intelligent and dedicated developers who have a sharp focus on its product offerings along with an eye on a changing future.

However in 2014, after expansion in to new markets and rapid company growth, product development was slowing. Maintaining the necessary pace of change in their software products to support new requirements was becoming harder and more expensive.

The problem they identified was in their implementation of Hibernate, and specifically how it had spread throughout their application, coupling them to the database.

Snowflake reached out to SkillsMatter, the leading training organisation in London, who then brought trusted architectural consultancy Simplicity Itself and Snowflake together.

Simplicity Itself visited Snowflake and performed a 2 day analysis and architectural workshop. This workshop style discusses the symptoms that present; in this case Hibernate, then drills down to the root cause and presents an approach to address this and many others issues. This approach is based on discovering, visualising and harnessing the forces of change in your software systems and design. With this in hand, the pace of change can be used as the primary focus for your software design process.

Adrian McKenzie, Head of Software Development at Snowflake said that “We engaged them to help us with a specific narrow problem (Spring/Hibernate), and they gave us the ability to answer these and many more questions (not the answers themselves!)”

The Life Preserver

The Life Preserver is a thinking and design tool, that maps and visualises change. It enables you to move from high level concepts to lines of code in a single picture.

As Adrian said at the time, “the most valuable thing Simplicity Itself gave was a tool and metaphor for answering our own questions. I have even starting thinking about organisational structure and design through the lens of the Life Preserver.”

While at Simplicity Itself we are always pleased to visit clients more than once, we aim to leave our clients in the position of not needing to call us. We feel that learning about the Life Preserver, the principles of change and Adaptable Software do that.  As Adrian has since said :

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. The Life Preserver is the fishing rod for the ocean of software design. As a result we are now better equipped for a lifetime of software development.”

Simplicity Itself are proud to have worked with SkillsMatter to have had a positive impact in Snowflake Software, and we wish them all the best for the future. This study highlights an example of one of our Knowledge consultancy engagements, if you’d like to discuss your own technical issues relating to maintaining the necessary development pace, or you are finding that your software doesn’t handle change very well, contact us

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