Architect definition many times comes from company they work for RRS feed

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  • From my 25 + years experience in the software business the definition of what an architect is dynamic and many times comes from the company needs they work for. Some companies define the role as someone who can gather requirements, design,  code and manage the project even if it is a one man project.  Another company sees an architect as someone who has vision of where IT technology is going and makes recommendations to company management about technology choices that fit the short and long term business goals.  

    My definition of an architect is of a high level nature, they are visionaries of where technology is going and how it can be used in business and non business needs. They must be willing to look at the whole picture, the connections, interactions and ongoing maintenance of a system  which many even with excellent technical skills do not do or have difficulty doing.  An architect must have the courage to evangelize , be an advocate, an explainer of technology to the business stakeholders who make product decisions, explain   how technology decisions will benefit the business in short, mid and long terms goals.

    Friday, May 16, 2008 2:04 PM

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  • My default response to defining what an architect is/does would be very similar to that too. However, as you mention in your first paragraph there seems to be many different views, not just from the companies perspective but from individuals wishing to inflate their own importance with a shiny new job title - sorry that sounded a tad bitter. 

    Friday, May 16, 2008 10:37 PM
  • Nice one! Let me elaborate:



    > individuals wishing to inflate their own importance with a shiny new job title


    My favourite inflation within the average company is to push as much as possible on Analysis and blame as far as possible the Architect and (Project) Manager roles. With plenty of illustrations and samples pro and con each side. And... it's all true!


    The reason to push Analysis is that, apart from having heard it exists, few (if not any, at least in my arena) have ever encountered it for real. But: Analysis is the **key** to QUALITY in production.


    The reasons to blame Architects and Project Managers are obvious when you think how inflated those roles indeed are nowadays, and the problems they bring -- first of all to developers' sanity!! So let's call this side of mine: contra-inflation.


    (Of course, if you ask me seriously, I have nothing against any of the mentioned roles/activities (when done properly!), and I would rather focus on the overall approach to software production in the context of the given busines constraints. Then, we should rather talk about "the hell with Managers vs the evils of Marketing"...)


    And why/what do you inflate?



    Saturday, May 17, 2008 1:18 PM
  • My response would be: An Architect is who is a fence dweller and can understand business needs and make right solution/technology choice to enable business capability. Ideally an architect should able to view from all perspective (business, stake holders need, technology, cost, market trends, organization culture) to come up with holistic solution.


    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 9:37 AM