A Journey to Pattern Languages


For years, I have been sailing around the submerged iceberg of Pattern Languages in my careers of software developer, technical author, information architect and Scrum Master. I eventually landed on Christopher Alexander’s book, “A Pattern Language” as a recommendation from my Design Thinking professor while studying a master’s degree. Once I started to explore, I found connections everywhere. Interestingly, pattern languages provide a unifying link between all my careers. Pattern languages have had a transformative effect on numerous domains: built architecture, information architecture, software design patterns, wikis, Scrum and Agile to name a few. Yet for such an influential approach, pattern languages remain surprisingly hidden. I share my journey of discovery and rediscovery of language patterns. I will cover a brief history of pattern languages and their impact on multiple domains. This gives a context for my attempt to use pattern languages to link interests from my various careers. This is primarily through the medium of a wiki which is a direct descendent of the original explorations of pattern languages. Finally, this is an opportunity to share resources that I have found useful on my journey. The aim is to leave everyone with signposts to pattern languages in multiple domains. Hopefully everyone will leave with some stimulating ideas about how pattern languages may impact their own career.

  • Conference: Write the Docs Prague
  • Year: 2020

About the speaker

Andrew Haynes