Room 1 

16:20 - 17:20 


Talk (60 min)

Architecture isn't Kubernetes

One of the most contentious words in technology culture today is “Architect.” I experience an endless stream of divisive, confusing opinions about what "architecture" means. At a conference, an attendee noticed that my badge said "architect" and told me "I want to be an architect too, but I don't know enough about Kubernetes yet".


Architecture, in the systems age, is not (just) Kubernetes. It's not the implementation of any particular toolset. Architecture is designing relationships between parts and adapting those relationship patterns as circumstances change. This requires engaging our mental models and working together to transform them.

The architecture skillset is sociotechnical -- a blend of social and technology skills. In the modern age, there is no division between the way we think together and the code running in production. Our thinking designs our architecture. Architecture is structuring good systems thinking.

In this talk, I will admit that *sometimes* architecture is Kubernetes. And share five essential qualities that make a good architect a great architect, regardless of the toolset they employ.

Diana Montalion

If you’ve read The Economist, donated to Wikipedia, or contributed to The World Monuments Fund, you’ve interacted with systems that Diana helped to architect.

She has 18+ years experience delivering initiatives, independently or as part of a professional services group, to clients including Stanford, The Gates Foundation and Teach For All. She is founder of Mentrix, a consultancy providing enterprise systems architecture and diverse workshops on nonlinear approaches. She is the author of Writing as Thinking and the upcoming O'Reilly book, Learn Systems Thinking: Essential Nonlinear Skills & Practices for Software Professionals.