Wirfs-Brock Associates
"Enabling teams and individuals to specify, design and deliver software for a complex world."
Responsibility-Driven Software Development

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Conferences and Events

PLoP 2023 Conference, Allerton, Illinois, USA October 22-25 2022
Paper: Exploring the Generative Nature of Patterns by Lise Hvatum and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Keynote: Go Build Your Thing-And in the process inspire others to do the same by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Lise Hvatum
DDD Europe 2023 Conference Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 5-9, 2023
Hands-on Session: Expanding your Design Heuristic Repertoire One Experiment at a Time by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
PLoP 2022 Online Conference October 17-24, 2022
Paper: Observations on growing a software design umwelt by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Essence for Agility Meetup June 29, 2022, 18:00 GMT+1
"New dogs, old tricks" discussion with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Steve Freeman, and Joseph Pelrine
DDD Europe 2022 Conference Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 20-24, 2022
Hands-on Session: Heuristic Hunting for the Curious by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Keynote: Critically Engaging with Models by Mathias Verraes and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference October 11-13, 2021
Tutorial: Being Agile At Software Quality with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Joseph Yoder
XP 2021 Online Conference June 14-18, 2021
Monday Resarch Workshop: Agility with Microservices
Monday Panel: The Stories We Tell: Experience, Research, or Patterns?
Friday Workshop: Architecture decision-making tools and practices for agility and resilience by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Ken Power
DDD Europe Workshop Online, Apr 19&20 and Apr 26&27, 2021
Workshop: Decision-Making Practices for Evolving and Sustaining Architecture by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Ken Power
The Hillside Group Event Online, Feb 26, 2021
Panel: Patterns, Principles, and Agile Connections with Ward Cunningham, Linda Rising, Joseph Yoder, and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
OOP 2021 Conference Online, February 8, 2021
Workshop: Distilling Design Heuristics by Modelling by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Kenny Baas-Schwegler
Hands On DDDEU 2021 Conference Online, February 4, 2021
Workshop: Hands On Heuristic Hunting by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Kenny Baas-Schwegler
Ágiles 2020 Online, November 1-9, 2020
Panel: The Future of Agile Development,
Talk: Grow Your Personal Design Heuristics by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Workshop: Decision-making practices for evolving and sustaining software architecture with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Ken Power October 20&22, 2020
PLoP 2020 Online Conference October 12-15, 2020
Paper: Should we stop writing patterns? by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock Focus Group: The Importance of Domain Modelling in Modern Software Design by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Joseph Yoder
Sharing Agile Experiences October 6, 2020
A Design Conversation with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Alex Bolboaca July 3, 2020
XP 2020 Online Conference June 8-12, 2020
Workshop: Understanding and applying different decision models for increasing organization agility by Ken Power and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
CukenFest 2020 June 3, 2020
Keynote: What You are Doing vs What You Think You are Doing by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
I T.A.K.E. 8th Edition Virtual Conference May 12, 2020
Keynote: Grow Your Personal Design Heuristics by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
DDD Europe 2020 Conference Amsterdam, The Netherlands, February 3-7, 2020
Design Heuristics Workshop by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Hands-on Session: Distilling Your Personal Design Heuristics by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Keynote: Elephants, Patterns, and Heuristics by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Christian Kohls


Featured Presentations, Writing & News

Observations on growing a software design umwelt, PLoP 2022 essay by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Design and Reality: Essays on Software Design, 2022, book by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Mathias Verraes
Should we stop writing design patterns?, PLoP 2020 essay by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
DDD Europe 2022 Keynote by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Mathias Verraes: Critically Engaging with Models video
RDD, Design Heuristics and More with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Sara Torrey podcast Feb 5, 2021
A Design Conversation with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Alex Bolboaca podcast July 3, 2020
Elephants, Patterns, and Heuristics, PLoP 2019 essay by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Christian Kohls
Who will read my patterns?, PLoP 2019 paper by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Lise Hvatum
An Exploratory Study of Naturalistic Decision Making in Complex Software Architecture Environments by Ken Power and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock paper
A Conversation with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Andrea Goulet and Scott Ford on Legacy Code Rocks about Design Heuristics podcast
Traces, tracks, trails, and paths: An Exploration of How We Might Approach Software Design, PLoP 2018 essay

From The Responsible Designer Blog

Surfacing Worldviews in Your Design - July 3, 2023
Getting out of your ruts- May 4, 2023
Our Heuristics are Shaped Through Experience- May 2, 2023
Testing, Testing...our Heuristics- April 19, 2023
Critically Engaging with Models- September 20, 2022
2021 Year End Review- December 30, 2021
Models and Metaphors- December 20, 2021
Too Much Salt?- December 17, 2021
Design and Reality- September 13, 2021
Is it Noise or Euphony?- August 26, 2021
Noisy Decisions- August 18, 2021
Splitting a Domain Across Multiple Bounded Contexts- June 14, 2021
Design (Un)Certainty and Decision Trees- August 7, 2020
Reconciling New Design Approaches with What You Already Know- May 7, 2019
What we say versus what we do- April 25, 2019
Nothing ever goes exactly by the book- April 19, 2019
Writing, Remembering, and Sharing Design Heuristics- April 12, 2019
What do typical design heuristics look like?- April 4, 2019
Growing Your Personal Design Heuristics Toolkit- March 20, 2019


IEEE Software Design Columns
4 years of design columns by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Popular IEEE Software columns:
The Responsible Designer - November / December 2009

Design for Test - September / October 2009


  New Workshops:

Being Agile About System Qualities
Learn practical techniques for identifying system quality concerns such as scalability, performance, or usability and how to integrate work on system qualities into your agile project.

Exploiting Fast and Slow Thinking
Learn how fast and slow thinking affects your reactions, behaviors, and decision-making and techniques for counteracting fast thinking glitches.

Agile Architecture Workshop: A Pragmatic Approach
Learn small and larger project or program practices and techniques for agilely defining, refining, and evolving your software architecture.

Popular Courses:

Skills for the Agile Designer
Acquire techniques for seeing and shaping solutions, developing a common design vision, monitoring design debt, and focusing on the important stuff.

Pragmatic Test-Driven Development
Learn two different testing rhythms: test-frequently and test-first. Understand how refactoring affects tests and how acceptance and system quality tests support and enhance core TDD practices.

Developing and Communicating Software Architecture
Learn how to develop an essential architecture and explain it to diverse stakeholders.

Practical UML
UML 2.0 in 1 day for the healthy skeptic. Move beyond overly simpllstic or clunky, cluttered diagrams.

The Art of Telling Your Design Story
Create compelling, convincing, and nuanced design presentations.


Development teams need to create solid designs and sustainable architectures while developing a rhythm and predictability to their work. Whether you are an agile team or not, we can help.Wirfs-Brock Associates specializes in building software architecture and design expertise and analysis skills through training, mentoring, individual and small team coaching and consulting. We help you minimize your software development risks and identify practical solutions to challenging design problems.

Check out our popular workshops and training courses. And ask about our latest workshops: Being Agile About System Qualities and Exploiting Fast and Slow Thinking.

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, founder of Wirfs-Brock Associates, invented the popular development approach called Responsibility-Driven Design (RDD) and inadvertently started the xDD meme (TDD, BDD, DDD, etc.) Read about RDD in the book, Object Design: Roles, Responsibilities, and Collaborations. RDD offers practical techniques for creating object-oriented and component-based design solutions. Rebecca also introduced the conversational form of use cases which emphasizes user-system interactions and holds agile use case writing workshops around the world.

If you find yourself facing these issues:

Our team is a mix. It\'d be nice if everyone talked about design the same way.
My code speaks for itself, but how can I communicate my design to others?
We need to get better at writing streamlined requirements that developers can use. We need written requirements, but we want to be agile about it.
There\'s not enough design thinking while coding. How can we change that?
We want to improve our strategic design and domain modeling skills.
How can we make sure we\'re paying enough attention to architecture?
Our programmers need better design skills.
We\'d like to focus our architecture efforts on the areas with the most impact.
Can you help us create a flexible design solution?
We need practical training, not theory.

we can help.


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