Learning ADSD online in the company


I’m organizing a series of meetings in my current company, to go over Distributed Systems Design Fundamentals (particular.net) together and discuss what we learn.

It was helpful to read about How the Swedish Transport Agency learned distributed systems in six months • Particular Software.

However, I have some doubts regarding how it was organized, e.g. seems like the group size was quite large, which doesn’t really give everybody a lot of time to participate in the discussion. Also we’re fully remote, so there’s no option of co-locating people which may be a bit harder for discussion. Last but not least, the level of dev experience will vary a lot in our group.

Do you have any other examples of how people went about it or practical tips for facilitation of such a learning group?

Hi @weralabaj

I don’t believe we have any specific examples but from personal experience, I’ve had some success by scheduling a regular time with a group (remotely) to watch a portion of the course together and then discuss it. This was more reliable than relying on everyone to watch before the next session as it inevitably drops off one or more priority lists so watching together ensures everyone is on the same page.

I also preferred having a discussion after only one or two segments vs. watching for an hour and then discussing. Keeps things fresh though it does tend to segment the concepts more so you have to work to bring them all together.

As for accommodating different skill levels, maybe having a designated facilitator that ensures no one person or group dominates the discussion. It could be helpful to have a different person provide a short summary of what was just viewed in their own words to bootstrap the conversation. In my experience, that often leads to clarifying questions because the person summarizing will often say things like, “I think what he meant by that was…” which can trigger others to chime in. Again, good facilitation is important.

– Kyle

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Thanks @Kyle_Baley , I’ll use your tips for sure and will share how it went so others can benefit too :smiley:

Hi @weralabaj , In 2019, we had a group of about 20 developers that was organized, promoted, and managed by one of our champs, Christer Østergaard, as part of the Lisbon DDD meet-up group. We divided the content:

  • 1: Fallacies of Distributed Computing, Coupling
  • 2: Intro to messaging, Exercise: selling messaging to your organization, Messaging patterns
  • 3: Architectural styles: Bus and Broker, Intro to SOA, Exercise: services modelling, Advanced SOA
  • 4: CQRS,SOA: operational aspects, Sagas/Long-running business processes modelling, Exercise: saga design
  • 5: SOA: modelling, Organizational transition to SOA, Web Services, and User Interfaces

The developers were asked to watch the recording by themselves, and then a 2 hrs meet-up was set, moderated by Christer, to discuss questions.

They set four meetings: one after part 1+2, one after part 3, another after part 4, and the last after part 5, with about a month after the start watching day, and then two weeks, a longer break before part 3 to catch up and then after another two weeks.

We made sure to explain to the participants the level of commitment required: a 5-day course with 97 videos, and the average time of each is about 20 minutes.
We asked developers to watch a free video offer before committing to ensure they agreed and understood the course premise.
I will reach out to you privately to provide more info