What kind of architect?

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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