On Success and Failures

When you see a successful person, it is very easy to say that this person was “lucky”. But real success always comes after multiple failures. And the only real failure is to stop trying before you reach success. We must always keep trying!


After many years working for big corporations, I decided to create my own startup company. KashKlik is an Influencer Marketing platform with a unique pay-per-click model. Our marketplace is fully-functional, has initial revenue and already reaches millions of people globally.

Now it’s time for KashKlik to grow fast and we are looking for private investors. We just started a crowdfunding campaign in which you can participate and become a shareholder. You will find our business plan and lots of additional information here:

Looking forward to having you as a partner at KashKlik!


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Workshop on Software Architecture for Agile Development

Last month I gave a workshop about Software Architecture for Agile Development, organized by ILTAM. It was very interesting, I was really pleased that the audience was engaged and asked many good questions. These workshops are an opportunity for me to meet other professionals working on different industries and exchange experiences. They are the ones who paid to participate, but I also learned from them.

Summary: This workshop will be dedicated to the topic of Software Architecture in the context of Agile Development. We will answer the question: “How much Design Up Front should be done in an Agile project?” Hayim will present his approach of Adaptable Design Up Front (ADUF), describing its rationale, applications in practice and comparison to other approaches such as Emergent Design. He will explain why adaptability is essential for the development of complex software systems using Agile methods. The concepts will be illustrated through practical software architecture approaches such as micro-services and examples of real software systems that were developed in the past. The workshop will also include an exercise on the definition and evolution of the design of an interesting system.

These are the slides of my workshop:

Below are some pictures of the audience during their exercise:


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My first book, published 25 years ago

POOI wrote my first book when I was 20 years old. It was the first book in Portuguese about Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). At the time I was a student at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, also known as UFRJ (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro).

You may ask: what makes a young student think that he should write a book? Actually it wasn’t my idea, I was convinced to write it by one of my teachers, professor Paulo Bianchi. At that time I was considered a “pioneer” using OOP on my graduation project, and had a good understanding of the application of object-oriented concepts. Then I had this conversation with my teacher:

My teacher: “I would like you to write a class-book about Object-Oriented-Programming.”

I answered: “I can do that, but this would be lots of work, the same as writing a book.”

My teacher: “You are right. Write a book.”

I still didn’t think that I was able to write a book. So we agreed that I would write the first chapter, then my teacher would review it, and if it was good enough I would write the rest of the book. As you can guess, my teacher really liked the first chapter, made several suggestions for improvements, and then I wrote the additional book chapters.

My book was published in 1992 by a publishing house that specialized in technical books: LTC – Livros Técnicos e Científicos. The book title was “Programação Orientada para Objetos com Turbo Pascal 6.0”. It was published in Brazil and sold also in Portugal. The first edition had 1200 copies, and all of them were sold. You can see the picture of the front-cover above. Note that it was authored under my Brazilian name (Ricardo Szmit), and now I use my Hebrew name.

The first edition had code examples in Turbo Pascal. The publishing house asked me to prepare a second edition using examples in C++. But at that time I was already in Israel, doing my M.Sc. studies at the Technion. I decided that my research was more important than working on a new edition of the book. Also, I already had the feeling that I would never go back to Brazil to enjoy my local reputation as a book author…

Of course I did not make much money from this book, but it was a great experience. I learned to think big, and to never underestimate my own capacity. I hope this serves as an inspiration for young readers of my blog.

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Good Code is Adaptable Code

Some people find the diagram below very funny: it basically says that there is no way to write good code. Of course I do not agree with this. The diagram implies that writing well is a slow process, and that the requirements will have changed before we finish writing our code. I claim that we should write Adaptable Code, so that when the requirements change we will not have to “throw it all out and start over”, as appears in the box in the bottom. In this sense, Good Code is synonymous with Adaptable Code. Now the question is: how do we write Adaptable Code? My answer is: Adaptable Design Up Front, an Agile approach to Software Design.

good code cartoon

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On Happiness and Realistic Expectations

expectation vs realityIn general I’m known by my friends as a smiling person. Once a colleague asked me: “Why are you always smiling?” Then I smiled and answered him: “Because I have low expectations!”

Just think about it. What is frustration? What is dissatisfaction? What makes people complain so much about the difficulties they have? What is the reason so many people complain about their lives in general?

I believe in an extremely simple explanation: Frustration is the result of the difference between our reality and our expectations.

We can even express this as a Math formula:

Frustration = Expectations – Reality

The bigger the difference between our expectations and our reality, the more frustrated we will be. There are two ways to reduce this difference:

  1. Reduce our expectations
  2. Improve our reality

In general people tend to try to improve their reality instead of reducing their expectations. This is particularly true in our consumption-driven society in which success is measured by the accumulation of material goods.

There is nothing wrong about people trying to improve their reality. The progress and economic development of a nation are the result of the joint efforts of a population in which each individual is trying to improve his own life.

However there is a problem when many people have expectations which are not realistic. By definition only a few people will become rich. Only a few people will become famous. Only a few people will be able to achieve all their goals.

Being realistic does not mean not trying to be rich or not trying to be famous. Being realistic means being aware of your chances. It means being conscient about the difficulty involved in reaching your goals.

I think that this lack of realism is what makes most people fail. Because they underestimate their challenges, they do not work hard enough. Because they think it will be easy to reach their goals, they do not prepare well enough.

Thus reducing our expectations does not necessarily mean changing our goals. It means being realistic about how difficult it will be to reach our goals.

Keep your goals. Be realistic. Smile.

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The Iceberg Illusion: Hidden Success Factors

Do you believe in luck? Are successful people luckier than the average person? Did they have more opportunities? Did they have access to things most people don’t?

I don’t believe so. I think that what makes people successful is their attitude. If you work hard you can win despite the obstacles. Most successful people faced the same challenges that the average person does. Their “secret” is illustrated in the picture below:


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On Italian Food and the Evolution of Software Architecture

I really like this picture. Besides being funny, I think it is also a nice metaphor. There is no such a thing the “right software architecture”, in the same way that there is no such a thing the “right Italian food”. You may choose the food according to the occasion, and choose the architecture according to the requirements. In particular, architecture choice depends on non-functional requirements. Bon appétit!

Software Architecture

Posted in Design Patterns, Software Architecture, Software Evolution | Tagged , , | 1 Comment