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Model-Minded Development

May 2016 Presentation
George Fairbanks (Google)

This presentation introduces Model-Minded Development, which enables senior software developers to track many abstract yet complex models that constrain their code.


Software Engineering Institute




  • Domain-Driven Design (DDD) says that we should be mindful of domain models and embed them in our code.
  • Design Patterns say that we should know a catalog of patterns so we can solve recurring problems that arise in object-oriented (OO) code.
  • Software Architecture says that unless we are mindful of large-scale patterns and models, then our systems will not achieve the qualities we seek.
  • Test-Driven Design (TDD) says that we should structure our code so that it can be more easily tested.
  • Programming styles (functional, OO, procedural, etc.) say what the core abstractions of our programs should be.

The common denominator here is that software developers are expected to keep in mind many abstract yet complex models that constrain the code they write. In some ways, these constraints are a burden, and in other ways, they are the light that illuminates a path forward.

I will discuss an idea called Model-Minded Development that generalizes across DDD, design patterns, architecture, TDD, and coding styles. The defining characteristic of senior software developers is their facility with Model- Minded Development, and it enables them to operate at an advanced level.