Simon Brown Simon Brown

Jet-setting software geek Speaker Trainer Author Consultant Coder Technical leadership Software architecture

Simon is an independent consultant and helps organisations to build better software by adopting a lightweight, pragmatic approach to software architecture. He is the creator of the C4 software architecture model and the author of Software Architecture for Developers - a developer-friendly guide to software architecture, technical leadership and the balance with agility. Simon regularly speaks at software development conferences around the world and, in 2013, he won the IEEE Software sponsored SATURN 2013 "Architecture in Practice" Presentation Award for his presentation about the conflict between agile and architecture. Simon lives in Jersey (the largest of the Channel Islands) and his client list spans over 20 countries, including organisations ranging from small technology startups through to global household names. He still codes too.

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A lightweight, pragmatic approach to software architecture

I believe that a lightweight approach to software architecture is pivotal to successfully delivering software, and that it can complement agile approaches rather than compete against them. After all, a good architecture enables agility and this doesn't happen by magic.

In a nutshell, my lightweight approach to software architecture includes doing "just enough" up front design to understand the significant structural elements of the software, some lightweight sketches to communicate that vision to the team and ensuring that the highest priority risks are identified and mitigated. I use a technique that I call Risk-storming as a visual and collaborative way to identify those risks. The code doesn't tell the whole story, so I deliver a lightweight software guidebook as supplementary documentation. The video of my "Software Architecture & the balance with agility" talk from the "Software Architect 2013" conference provides a good overview of my approach to software architecture, while my "Simple sketches for diagramming your software architecture" article summarises my "C4 model" for describing, visualising and communicating software architecture.

Jet-setting software geek

I've spoken at events and/or have clients in the following countries.

Belgium Belgium
China China
Czech Republic Czech Republic
Denmark Denmark
Finland Finland
France France
Germany Germany
Guernsey Guernsey
Hungary Hungary
Ireland Iceland
Ireland Ireland
Italy Italy
Jersey Jersey
Lithuania Lithuania
The Netherlands The Netherlands
New Zealand New Zealand
Norway Norway
Poland Poland
Portugal Portugal
Romania Romania
Spain Spain
Sweden Sweden
Switzerland Switzerland
Ukraine Ukraine
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom United Kingdom
United States United States


I regularly deliver sessions about software architecture at conferences, user groups and organisations around the world; including opening keynotes, closing keynotes, conference talks, panel sessions and workshops. In 2013, I won the IEEE Software sponsored SATURN 2013 "Architecture in Practice" Presentation Award for my talk about the conflict between agile and architecture.

All of the slides from past talks are available to view online/download.

The 'Architecture in Practice' award from SATURN 2013

Software architecture vs code
My closing keynote at DevDay 2014 in Krakow, Poland

Agility and the essence of software architecture
Recorded at CRAFT 2014 in Budapest, Hungary


I run training courses about software architecture, technical leadership and the balance with agility. The full set of slides from the training course is available to view online/download.

On-site training

My courses include a 1-day software architecture sketching workshop and a full 2-day "Software Architecture for Developers" training course. Most courses are private, on-site courses for organisations around the world, but there are usually a small number of public courses each year. The software architecture sketching workshops are often run at conferences too.

Online training

An online version of my "Software Architecture for Developers" training course is also available via Parleys. This includes the same content as a regular 2-day version, except for the hands-on software design and sketching exercises.

SA4D slides

SA4D training
Software Architecture for Developers


My Software Architecture for Developers e-book, a developer-friendly guide to software architecture, is available to buy from Leanpub. You can read a sample online. A Chinese translation is available.

I've also authored and co-authored a number of books about enterprise Java, and contributed to others. I write about software architecture on the Coding the Architecture blog and write articles for places like InfoQ, Methods & Tools, etc too.

Software Architecture for Developers Talking with Tech Leads Pro JSP 2 Pro JSP 3rd Edition Professional JSP Tag Libraries Professional Java Servlets 2.3 Professional JSP 2nd Edition


Most of my career has been spent working for consulting companies in London and, although I predominantly built software for our customers, I have also performed a number of consulting roles. These included software architecture reviews, software archaeology, architecture strategy work, technical due diligence, process engineering, being a trusted advisor, developer mentoring and coaching, rescuing failing software projects, performance testing, creating technical career frameworks and training plans, etc.


I've written a lot of code during my career, primarily in Java and C#. You can find a bunch of random code on my GitHub account, plus I built most of what you see at

Software architecture as code

Ensuring an alignment between the software architecture and the code can help teams massively from a number of perspectives, yet the abstractions we draw on our diagrams rarely match those in the code. For this reason, I'm currently experimenting with a way to create software architecture models as code and an open source Java implementation can be found on GitHub. I've also created a simple web-based diagramming tool called Structurizr to visualise the models. This is a Java, HTML 5, CSS and JavaScript web application running on Pivotal Web Services. It's very much a work in progress.

Digital scrapbook

I keep a digital scrapbook of my work-related stuff on Pinterest.

I also use Instagram to capture photos from Jersey and my travels around the world.

Seymour Tower #jerseyci #JerseyMemory

A photo posted by Simon Brown (@simonbrowndotje) on

A cup of tea at The Hungry Man #jerseyci

A photo posted by Simon Brown (@simonbrowndotje) on

The cycle ride to the top of L'etacq is worth it... #jerseyci #jerseyinsta

A photo posted by Simon Brown (@simonbrowndotje) on