Thoughts after reading Introduction to Progmmatic Arcitecture RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I think the concerns raised in the "Introduction to Pragmatic Architecture" (MSDN Series) are very important ones.  They do not leave anybody indifferent.  We are daily involved in these issues one way or another.  These are my thoughts on architects and architecture.

    Expressed by many members of the developers’ community opinion about architects - "cannot code anymore" – is a stigma which seems never fades away.  Ironically this is coming from developers who are endangered species in our market today.  They are so close to extinction that sometimes the closest developer can be found in India.

    As an architect I often participate in different types of reviews, including code ones.  From my experience I can attest that quality of code is gradually going down every year as well as a number of real developers.  I am not talking about advanced stuff such as code optimization.  It is simply hard to find clean, properly formatted code. 

    Hence, “cannot code anymore” is not just an architectural issue.  Unfortunately, it is more generic problem.  The roots of this problem can be found in Y2K when for no reason we brought thousands of not qualified people into IT.  This problem was severely aggravated with the global outsourcing process.

    A negative view on architects and architecture is not uncommon among people who are very much buried in code.  However, sometimes we (architects) do not recognize our own problems, trying to prove our worth.  First of all we must remember that architect is a technical resource. Second, we are not the "PowerPoint guys"!  Proven and current IT skills are still a must for us.

    In my experience there are unfortunately too many architects who draw boxes on whiteboards and draw lines between them for a living who are totally unaware of the realities of the underlying development environment, its constraints and issues.  They are usually not familiar with the development process in details, and how new technologies and new capabilities provide greater opportunities as well as constraints in order to apply those constraints to the priorities that they are considering when making architectural decisions.

    Architects do architecture (a detailed definition of architecture is above and beyond of this post).  If during this process, we forgot that our decisions need to be grounded in reality we have missed the mark.  However, architecture is a balancing act.  It requires a careful balance between tactical and strategic approaches.  We cannot only focus on the day-to-day detailed issues of how to code and how to use tools and the constraints that the tools provide to us.  If these are the only things that keep in our attention, then we have also missed the mark. 

    Thursday, November 30, 2006 5:23 PM

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