How Software Learns: What Happens after Software Is Shipped

 

MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar SeriesChristine Miyachi

Christine Miyachi
SDM Alumnus and Principal Systems Engineer and Architect, Xerox Corporation

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Date: February 6, 2012

About the Presentation

Software architecture has sometimes been compared to building architecture, but that comparison has also been faulted as inaccurate because software has a capacity for adaptive change, while buildings are permanent. Or, at least they appear to be. In fact, buildings are complex systems that change drastically over time—as noted in Stewart Brand’s book, How Buildings Learn. Software engineers have a lot to learn from architecture, and building designers can learn a lot from modern software systems. This webinar will examine the aspects of both systems that change—slowly and quickly—with a focus on two system properties in particular: maintainability and extensibility. Can we construct both buildings and software systems with a high degree of maintainability and extensibility? Modern agile software processes produce systems that may be missing these two key properties, and buildings have ignored them for years. This webinar will reveal how software systems can learn and evolve just as buildings do.

About the Speaker:

SDM alumna Christine Miyachi has over 25 years of experience working for startups and large corporations. She writes a weekly blog about software architecture: http://abstractsoftware.blogspot.com/. She is currently a principal systems engineer and architect at Xerox Corporation and holds several patents. Miyachi graduated from the University of Rochester with a BS in electrical engineering. She holds two MIT degrees: an MS in technology and policy/electrical engineering and computer science and an MS in engineering and management.

About the Series

The MIT System Design and Management Program Systems Thinking Webinar Series features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students, and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and socio-political components of complex challenges.