From developer to architect

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!


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