Better Whiteboard Sketches - Training for Engineers from Conflux

HOW TO DRAW BETTER WHITEBOARD SKETCHES FOR SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURES

Benefits: Communicate better with colleagues and clients. Reduce ambiguity in diagrams without using Visio or UML. Fully compatible with the C4 model of diagrams.

Output: Structured, practical techniques for better, more meaningful whiteboard sketches.

Audience: software developers, testers, infrastructure engineers, software architects, infrastructure architects

Formats: 90-min tutorial / 1-day workshop (see Costs)

Course code: T01

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TOpics Covered

Part 1 - Draw a familiar system

Attendees draw a diagram sketch based on recent work, identifying different concepts.

This initial diagram will be evolved and improved during the workshop.

Part 2 - Progressive Enhancements

We discover some recent scientific research into the psychology of drawing and sketching and this help us to draw better diagrams.

We learn how to use colour but think in monotone and why this is important.

We identify key concepts and assign colours and shapes to different categories of things in the diagram.

Finally, we learn how to draw to anticipate re-drawing and repeating

Part 3 - Revise Sketches

In the final part of the workshop, we revise the earlier sketches using the new techniques learnt in Part 2, putting into practice the theory and practical techniques. 

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Exercises

The course includes a set of exercises for attendees to help provide a framework for developing skills outside of the workshop.

We cover:

  • Using colour, but thinking in monochrome
  • Identifying and grouping key concepts
  • drawing for accessibility and impaired vision
  • using colour to increase clarity
  • drawing to enable re-drawing and repeating

The exercises are reusable so attendees can apply the same techniques to their sketches and diagrams after the training.

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Outcomes

Attendees gain confidence in sketching diagrams that are clear and memorable.

We use a set of structured, practical techniques for clearer, more meaningful technical whiteboard sketches; training attendees can immediately use these techniques to improve their sketches and diagrams and improve their communication.

The attendees improve their ability to represent their ideas and designs. Communication within the organisation improves.  

Attendees leave the workshop with a helpful printed cheat sheet with reminders of all the key techniques learnt.

 Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet

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Materials Provided

Hand-held whiteboards
Dry-wipe markers
Worksheets

Sketches and diagrams are essential for conveying key ideas rapidly. Everyone benefits from making diagrams more lucid, more accessible, and more memorable.
— Matthew Skelton, Conflux