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Conway's Law

What is Conway's Law?

Conway's Law is a principle in engineering which states that the design of a software system is inevitably shaped by the communication structures and organizational constraints of the team building it. The law was named after computer programmer Melvin Conway, who introduced the concept in a paper he wrote in 1968 titled "How Do Committees Invent?".

In essence, the law suggests that the structure of the software architecture will reflect the communication patterns and structure of the team working on it. For example, if a software development team is divided into two separate groups, one responsible for the user interface and the other responsible for the backend logic, the resulting software architecture is likely to reflect this division. This means that the system will have clear interfaces between the front-end and back-end components, but there may be inefficiencies in the way that information is passed between them.

Conway's Law is often cited as a cautionary tale for software development teams, highlighting the importance of considering organizational structure and communication patterns. By recognizing the potential impact of these factors, teams can strive to optimize their communication and collaboration, in order to create more effective and efficient software systems.



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