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According to James McGovern, I probably am! Why? Because I don’t code … very often.

I don’t sit in an Ivory tower either making up my dictions via, Visio & Powerpoint. I think the key to being a good Architect is taking responsibility for designing a technical solution for business requirement with those who are going to built it, implement it, look after it and use it.

Making good technical decisions often means getting your hands dirty and trying afew things out, if that is writing code or testing a device or installing a server then whatever it takes. However, Architects shouldn’t try to be heroes and experts at technologies but have the courage to go form relationship and seek opinions of those that are, I think that this is the real point.

Ok, so an Architect therefore is more about diplomacy, relationships and pulling strings together, it isn’t an adversarial role, it’s point is to generate a solution to a business problem where everyone that is playing a technical role knows what they have to do.

Architects shouldn’t pretend to be experts in technologies, they should know when to leave things to the professionals and not to meddle and step back and let them do their jobs. Architects can’t keep up with best practices in all technologies, there isn’t enough hours in the day.

I believe that an Architects mindset has to be different from that of a lead developer or technical guru as an Architect has to be technically agnostic and objective, whilst a lead developer or guru has to be an expert in chosen technologies, can you see the difference? One is a specialist in a technology the other is a specialist in a practice that requires a passion for all technology. Often Architects are consider as the technology ‘point-man’ for a project and first point of call for all things ‘techie’ for a Project Manager.

So can an Architect specialise? Yes because technology is such a vast set of topics I can’t see how Architects can’t specialise in a field but it then becomes a balancing act where technology meets good architecture principles meets business direction, where as a developer or IT Pro need to become honed in their art whether they use an aspect of a technology at that moment in time or not, form opinions and even become  bias, these are not luxuries an Architect can afford.

So if you are a developer or IT Pro and reading this and say … 'but I do that this stuff already', I would reply, 'good for you!' Because obviously you are capable of performing more than one role, don’t get the two confused.


Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:32 PM Main , Technical Architecture | Back to top

Comments on this post: Am I an Armchair Architect?

# re: Am I an Armchair Architect?
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too much chat not enough action thats the problem with architects of all shapes and sizes. If you did more then you wouldn't get so much flak.
Left by Richard fletcher on Jun 16, 2008 12:45 PM

# re: Am I an Armchair Architect?
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So obviously you guys at Clifford Chance have an Ivory Tower for your architects and bridges for the troll developers to hide under! Not good at building relationships then? More of the right kind of chat I think.
Left by Dave Oliver on Jun 16, 2008 7:59 PM

# re: Am I an Armchair Architect?
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Who is Clifford Chance? I think you have me mistaken for someone else Dave
Left by Richard Fletcher on Jun 17, 2008 8:55 AM

# re: Am I an Armchair Architect?
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I know we worked together briefly at LM but i'm certainly not working at clifford chance cheers
Left by richard fletcher on Jun 17, 2008 4:30 PM

# re: Am I an Armchair Architect?
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The IP address left behind from your browser on all three posts is the same and points to the same location ...

Left by Dave Oliver on Jun 17, 2008 8:20 PM

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