James Birnie

Codurance | Consultant

Father of two, Technology consultant, long distance runner and commentator on anything that annoys me.

James has worked in commercial software since the 1990s when TDD was something you studied but never did, Agile and Lean were words used to describe athletes and pipelines were strictly for carrying oil. After 10 years in a fast moving startup James started a new life as a transformation consultant in 2015. Now he spends his working days at Codurance helping various organisations achieve their full potential through software craft, an insistence on focusing on outcomes over process and a relentless drive to learn and improve.


What does GREAT Architecture Look like?
What Does Great Architecture Look Like? When we talk about architecture in software, what does it mean? If you ask 10 technology professionals “what is architecture?”, you get about 15 different answers. Sometimes an organisation has a role called “”enterprise architect””. This role is almost always counter productive. Instead of planning how to deliver value through new software and structures the prevailing culture forces this role to perpetuate the all kinds of unhelpful legacy. At best this places constraints on teams by telling them how to use existing systems to extract new value. At worst this culture actively obstructs innovation. Are there other architecture anti-patterns out there? So how should we view architecture and architects? How should we understand, and measure, our architecture and how can we make sure that our architects both add value and help value to be added? In this talk I’ll explain how modern architecture and architects should work, based on our experience of helping complex organisations to move away from their legacy systems and outdated cultures.