Clean Architecture and Strategic Outsourcing

Clean architecture is a term that loosely unites many architectures and software design patterns based on a common objective: separation of concerns (SoC). Basically, this means that the software is divided into distinct sections so that each section addresses a separate concern.

In other words, every aspect of a system should reflect a distinct business function, with its own requirements and resources. Characteristics of clean architectures include independence from frameworks and the ability to choose specific frameworks or tools, as opposed to constraints that reliance upon one particular framework or library may place upon the system.

Additionally, all layers of the system should be independent or decoupled, allowing you to introduce change and test user interfaces, business logic and data stores or sources without impacting other layers or areas.

Getting clean architecture right is kind of a holy grail – a very high ideal that is not simple to attain, as most systems are in some state of transition. Instead of focusing on the lower level aspects of clean architecture, I think it is interesting to focus on the teams that build the software.

Engineering teams can be organized in many ways – by function, by technology, by business areas, or all of the above aligned by specific products, features or modules. Taking a clean architecture approach to the engineering teams means aligning these teams to the independent areas of the system, reflecting the concerns of each area in their composition and function.

A perfect match for strategic outsourcing

The concept behind clean architectures and SoC makes them ideal to work with outsourcing development providers. That’s because the decision to rapidly scale up engineering capacity while achieving lower risks is usually the major trade-off when outsourcing.

A system that reflects clean architecture principles does not have external dependencies that would represent a single point of failure. For example, outsourcing discrete applications or modules would mitigate this risk. Some examples of this type of software development outsourcing could include:

  • Migration of a legacy application to a new framework, or updating application specific logic (or both).
  • Creation of a new product or module, based on enterprise policies, but with its own business rules.
  • Updating the UI layer of a product or products to improve the user experience.
  • Creation of new data sources for improved business intelligence and strategic decision making.

Additionally, an approach to achieving cleaner architecture is also a solid case for scaling engineering efforts through outsourcing. For example, a monolithic application that must be broken into domains, with services and microservices for context-specific functionality, will uncover opportunities in which autonomous teams may work without creating additional risk for the entire platform.

In order to most effectively deliver working software at any layer in the architecture, a focused, delivery team is much more likely to produce more value than a large team of individual contributors. That’s what underlines the strategic value of hiring outsourcing development services.

Since clean architecture separates the software into different sections that can be worked individually without impacting each other, an outsourced team of developers is more beneficial. That’s because all of its members can work simultaneously in the different sections but without losing the big picture.

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