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What is Clean Architecture? A Simple Explanation for Beginners

Weerayut Teja 27

What is Clean Architecture? A Simple Explanation for Beginners

Weerayut Teja
Level Up Coding
Published in
5 min read5 hours ago

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There are a lot of charts and diagrams out there that make you confused. So try to think about this.

Imagine you are building a house. You need to have a plan for the house, but you also need to have a plan for how to build the house. The plan for the house is like the domain layer in Clean Architecture. It describes what the house should be like, but it doesn’t say how to build it.

The plan for how to build the house is like the application layer in Clean Architecture. It describes the steps that need to be taken to build the house, but it doesn’t say anything about the specific materials or tools that will be used.

The materials and tools that you use to build the house are like the infrastructure layer in Clean Architecture. They are the specific things that you need to implement in the application layer.

The presentation layer is like the windows, doors, and roof of the house. It is what people see and interact with when they use the house.

Clean Architecture is a way of organizing your code so that it is easy to understand, maintain, and test. It keeps the different parts of your code separate so that you can change one part without affecting the others.

Here is a simple example of how Clean Architecture might be used to build a house:

Domain layer

The domain layer would describe the different parts of the house, such as the foundation, walls, roof, and windows.

It would also describe the relationships between these parts. For example, it would say that the walls must be built on top of the foundation and that the roof must be built on top of the walls.

Application layer

The application layer would describe the steps that need to be taken to build the house. For example, it would say that the foundation must be dug first, then the walls must be built, and then the roof must be built.

Infrastructure layer

The infrastructure layer would contain the specific things that are needed to implement the application layer. For example, it would contain the code for digging the foundation, building the walls, and building the roof.

Presentation layer

The presentation layer would contain the code for displaying the house to the world. For example, it would contain the code for drawing the walls and windows, and for displaying the roof.

Pros of Clean Architecture:

  • Maintainability: Clean Architecture makes applications more maintainable by separating the different concerns of the application into different layers. This makes it easier to understand and change the code of the application.
  • Testability: Clean Architecture makes applications more testable by decoupling the different layers of the application. This makes it easier to write unit tests for the business logic of the application.
  • Adaptability: Clean Architecture makes applications more adaptable to change by making them less dependent on specific technologies. For example, if you need to change the database that the application is using, you can do so without affecting the rest of the application.
  • Separation of concerns: Clean Architecture encourages the separation of concerns between the different layers of the application. This makes the code more modular and reusable.
  • Reduced complexity: Clean Architecture can help to reduce the complexity of large applications by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable layers.

Cons of Clean Architecture:

  • Increased initial development cost: Clean Architecture can require a higher initial development cost than other architectures, as it requires more planning and upfront design.
  • Increased complexity: Clean Architecture can add some complexity to the application, especially for small or simple applications.
  • Overengineering: It is possible to overengineer an application using Clean Architecture, especially if the application is not complex enough to warrant the use of this architecture.
  • Difficulty in finding experienced developers: It can be difficult to find developers who have experience with Clean Architecture.

How to Learn About the Clean Architecture

The learning curve of Clean Architecture can be steep, especially for developers who are new to the pattern. However, the benefits of using Clean Architecture, such as increased maintainability, testability, and adaptability, can make it worthwhile to invest the time to learn.

Here are some tips for making the learning curve of Clean Architecture easier:

  • Start by learning the basic concepts of Clean Architecture, such as the different layers, the dependency rule, and the benefits of using Clean Architecture.
  • Find a good book or tutorial on Clean Architecture. There are many resources available, both free and paid.
  • Start small. Don’t try to implement Clean Architecture in a large, complex application right away. Start with a small, simple application to get a feel for the pattern.
  • Use a framework or library that supports Clean Architecture. There are a number of frameworks and libraries available that can make it easier to implement Clean Architecture.
  • Find a mentor or community of developers who are experienced with Clean Architecture. They can help you to learn the pattern and answer any questions you have.

Once you have a basic understanding of Clean Architecture, you can start to apply it to your own projects. The more you use Clean Architecture, the easier it will become.

Here are some additional tips for learning Clean Architecture:

  • Focus on the domain layer first. The domain layer is the core of the application and it is the most important layer to get right.
  • Don’t worry about being perfect. It takes time and practice to learn Clean Architecture. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Break down the problem into smaller pieces. Don’t try to implement Clean Architecture all at once. Break it down into smaller steps and work on one step at a time.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are stuck, ask for help from a mentor, colleague, or online community.

With a little effort, you can learn Clean Architecture and build maintainable, testable, and adaptable applications.

Conclusion

Overall, Clean Architecture is a powerful software architecture pattern that can help you build maintainable, testable, and adaptable applications. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding whether or not to use it for your project.

It is also important to note that Clean Architecture is not a silver bullet. It cannot solve all of the problems associated with software development. However, it can be a valuable tool for developing complex and long-lived applications.