Archive for October, 2006

What kind of architect?

Posted: October 10, 2006 in Software-Architecture

A little over a week ago I posted a note to the IASA Yahoo group asking about how to start moving into software architecture. In answer to my question, Chris Sterling (I know he’s got another blog, but darned if I could find a link) gave me another question along with some definitions:

I would like to ask if you are interested in application architecture, infrastructure architecture, or enterprise architecture most of all? Application architects tend to be more focused on good design at the application and model levels. Infrastructure architects tend to be working on the hardware and systems side of organizations. Enterprise architects tend to be more involved in business vision and applicability to technology implementations in an organization. These are all over simplifications and most of us do not sit directly at any of these particular areas but usually somewhere in between. We just have a tendency towards 1 or 2 of them more than the others.

In a reprise of my answer I have to say I’m definitely interested in Enterprise Architecture. Helping businesses use technology to be able to accomplish their goals is appealing to me on many levels. However, I understand that that is a big chunk to bite off, so I want to focus first on Application Architecture, using that as a spring board to the enterprise stuff. Really the question for me is where to start. What if any guidance is available? What do I need to understand? What do I do to prove I know what I know? Hopefully the IASA will be a great place for this. Regardless the learning should be interesting.

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New disks on their way

Posted: October 10, 2006 in music

I love progressive metal so for my birthday I’m getting two albums from Tower Records: Crimson Glory from Crimson Glory and V: The New Mythology Suite from Symphony X.  Crimson Glory just shipped so hopefully in the next couple of days I’ll get it and post my thoughts.  It seems painfully hard to get this type of music but, oh well.  I’ll keep checking Prog Archives.

With my career based on Microsoft languages, I’ve been aware of and sort of active in user groups such as the old VB user group and .Net user groups in the Puget Sound area. While they showed new and future features in the tools and the languages, they never really got into how I could improve myself as a software developer. About a year ago I came across another one, the International Association of Software Architects (Puget Sound Chapter). It claimed to be vendor agnostic and was touted more as a “professional organization” than the user groups. Since there was no cost, I joined and went to a meeting. I’ll have to admit I was impressed. Charlie Poole of NUnit fame did a presentation to the group and there was cool discussion.

However, after that school and life took over and while I kept rough track of what was happening, I didn’t go to any more meetings until this past week. It was quite interesting as there was discussion about scrum and we broke into groups to discuss a couple different topics. The group I was in discussed how architects should interact with the teams they are involved with. Even though it was interesting, it was definitely clear that I was a junior to all the people in the room. To me though, it seems this is something the group would be great in addressing; how to bring along new architects. You know help build that group knowledge. Like stone masons and carpenters. So I posted the following to the group message board:

Hi Everyone,
I really enjoyed the meeting last week. It was great hearing the
discussion about how software architects can be a part of their
organizations. However, even though I’ve been doing development work for several years, it was quite obvious that my knowledge of software architecture and the various methodologies is severely lacking. I saw the earlier post about what people would be looking for when hiring an architect, but a lot of that was a foreign language. I realize there probably isn’t a twelve step program, but my question then is how do I go about gaining the skills that can move me from programmer to architect?

I’m very curious to see how this plays out because this is something I’m definitely interested in pursuing. Learning more about this whole thing certainly won’t hurt my career!