Austin DDD Book Club wrapped up

The last Austin DDD Book Club meeting came and went today, finishing up with the last couple of chapters in Evans’ excellent Domain-Driven Design book (covering Chapter 17, Bringing the Strategy Together and the Conclusion).  I want to thank our hosts for the meetings, both Drilling Info and Dovetail Software.  They both provided great meeting spaces that allowed some great discussions to take place.  Although I think we really confused the office assistants with a bunch of geeks showing up every couple of weeks, each with a big blue book in hand.

Talks about creating an Austin DDD Book Club started back in November, and we finally had our first meeting a couple months later in January.  Seven months later, we’re finally done, meeting every two weeks with one or two breaks.  Although I’ve owned the book for three years or so, this was the third time I’ve read it, but only the first I’ve made it all the way through.

I’m very glad I did, as the last few chapters concerning large-scale structure and distillation provided some key insights for applying DDD over the long run.  Most DDD discussions revolve around Entities, Value Objects, Repositories and such.  That’s only the first third of the book!

It was great to finally dive deeply into the later chapters, and even more valuable, discuss these concepts with others, each with varying experience with DDD.  I’ve only begun to grasp some of the later concepts, specifically in the Strategic Design and Deeper Insight sections.  These sections talk about DDD beyond one team, and beyond applying it for localized domains.  Now that I’m starting to see projects that are beyond forms-over-data apps (where DDD still shines), these later concepts become much more relevant, and critical.

It was also refreshing in the conclusion to hear Evans’ follow up with the examples he used in the book.  All the examples he used were based on real-world experiences, and he went back and followed up to see how the final picture wound up.  Not surprisingly, all examples wound up in many different places for a variety of reasons.

It’s always strange to me when talking with some pro-EF folks, that think DDD people are fixated on NHibernate.  Nowhere that I can find in Evans’ book do I find any mention of any kind of ORM solution, excluding things like EJBHome.  Which makes the conversations about tools rather pointless, as folks doing DDD just find tools that match the principles and patterns laid out in Evans’ book (as well as other earlier books).  When I hear things like “NHibernate Mafia”, it’s both puzzling and insulting.  I just don’t care about the tool, it doesn’t matter, I just want something with the least total friction.

So where do we go from now?  The Austin DDD Book Club was a lot of fun, but a lot of work, and I feel that its format left some folks out.  I’ve been asked a few times if we’re doing it again.  Right now, we have no plans for another DDD book club, but almost surely something in the similar vein of continuous improvement through community events.  That’s not to stop someone else from starting up another one!

Thanks again to our hosts and all the attendees, for the great discussions and learning that took place.

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About Jimmy Bogard

I'm a technical architect with Headspring in Austin, TX. I focus on DDD, distributed systems, and any other acronym-centric design/architecture/methodology. I created AutoMapper and am a co-author of the ASP.NET MVC in Action books.
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  • http://colinjack.blogspot.com Colin Jack

    > These sections talk about DDD beyond one team, and
    > beyond applying it for localized domains. Now that I’m
    > starting to see projects that are beyond forms-over-data
    > apps (where DDD still shines), these later concepts become
    > much more relevant, and critical.

    I’d be very interested in hearing your views on DDD in the larger context and how the patterns in the middle and end of the book affect the way you’d structure teams/projects/codebases.

  • http://www.codethinked.com Justin Etheredge

    A DDD book club sounds like a lot of fun. I’m not sure there would be enough interest here in Richmond to do it, but I guess you never know.
    And I agree that calling people the “NHibernate Mafia” is a bit ridiculous. I think it simply stems from the fact that they just can’t comprehend why someone wouldn’t want references to a persistence tool inside of their domain model. They think that people are just being purists and not being practical, but as time goes on I hope that this way of thinking will start to spread a good bit more.

  • http://jimmybogard.lostechies.com Jimmy Bogard

    @Colin

    Don’t worry, I’m still planning on a longer DDD series…it’s often passed up when talking to folks about DDD.

    @Justin

    I didn’t either, until I announced it at the local DNUG, and 20 people wanted in. You never know.

  • http://www.lostechies.com/blogs/joe_ocampo/ Joe Ocampo

    Man! I wish I could have made it. Austin is just so far away since with gas being as much as it is.

    My passion revolves around the latter part of the book I would have loved to be there to discuss what you all thought of it.