Field Notes

Agile Architecture, Graphs, and Predicting Airfare Prices

December 14, 2015 | In Talk Roundup

Molly Dishman & Martin Fowler - Agile Architecture

2015 O'Reilly Software Architecture Conf

Complexity arises from irreversibility. How do you design software to accommodate the inevitable changes? A better metaphor than architects is city planners, who provide coherence across dynamic changes. Dishman and Fowler note several places in agile development where architecture can happen.

The most important artifact of architecture is shared understanding. Diagrams, documentation, using the terminology of the problem domain, demos - increased understanding is the measure of our best practices. This talk shifted my thinking on effective development process. Recommended.

Karen Lopez -7 Ways your Data is Telling You It's A Graph

GraphConnect SF 2015
Relational databases are the right tool for the job, until they're not. Graph databases give us more power to make relationships between facts explicit, and more flexibility to represent relationships that don't fit so neatly into hierarchies. Symptoms include "our tool doesn't do that" and computations that are too resource-intensive.

Dr. Patrick Surry - Buy or Wait? How the Bunny Saves You Money

Boston Data Mining meetup

Airfare volatility makes buying tickets is a lousy experience. Is this a good price? Will it go down next week? Can I get it cheaper somewhere else? On average, consumers buy tickets ten days after they first consider it, and pay 11% more than the first price they see.

Enter Surry showed how Hopper analyzes price history to advise whether today's price is a good deal or whether you should wait. I downloaded the app while he spoke and am already watching two trips. So many data science applications detect patterns to improve profit. It's great to see a use that benefits consumers.

Surry presented this talk at the Boston Data Festival and blogged about it as well.