Geeks With Blogs
Caffeinated Coder A Grande, Triple Shot, Non-Fat Core Dump by Russell Ball

A few years ago I shifted roles from a developer team lead who coded almost full time to an Architect. Although I am naturally a bit of an abstract thinking and find architectural issues interesting, I have always been hesitant about this role because of the ubiquitous Architecture Astronauts that have given the discipline a bad name. These guys have a knack for intimidating even the smartest of developers by throwing around architectural jargon that they can describe in the abstract but are completely unable to translate these ideas into concrete code. Last night as I was lying in bed, I realized that I hadn't written a single line of code in the last few months because of my involvement in some high level strategy initiatives, my advisory role in a number of projects, and my supervisory responsibilities over a solutions architect and a data modeler. I realized with horror that much of my time these days was spent just reading about fuzzy concepts like SOA, SaaS, BPM, EII, EAI, MDM, Data Governance, and I was sure that I had suddenly become one of those useless pieces of corporate baggage that real developers make jokes about. That thought prompted me to spend my last waking moments plotting various routes to getting back to my coding roots.

This morning I relistened to an old Hanselminutes interview with Jeffrey Snover, the Powershell Architect, to help prepare for an upcoming .NET User group talk that I will be giving on Powershell. It was an excellent podcast, but what caught my attention the most was when Jeffrey mentioned that in the beginning of the project he had locked himself in a room for a month and pounded out a 15,000 lines of code as a proof of concept that he then used to convince people to get the project started. THAT is the kind of architect that I want to be when I grow up! I need to figure out a way to get myself out of all these meetings about process improvement, data strategy, and regulatory compliance and start focusing on some nice juicy proof of concept work.

[Originally Posted Friday, June 15, 2007 12:10 PM]

Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 10:10 PM Architecture , Musings, Rants, and Humor | Back to top

Comments on this post: The Architecture Blues

# re: The Architecture Blues
Requesting Gravatar...
I completely understand your position. As an architect and project manager I felt that I was losing my "chops" by being away from pure coding. It is difficult for IT supermen and architects to make that shift, because we have so much of our personal and professional identity defined, both in our own eyes and those of the community, by technical excellence. Add to that the fear of the Dilbert Principle that states that the only people who move into management are the marginal ones who were not that important anyway.
But I disagree. Unless you are going to work at a start-up, simple free market forces will dictate that you will move into a leadership position, although you may not like it. So embrace the value that you have to the org, both in knowledge and money. And supplement the geeky technical stuff with community work and doing skunkworks projects on the side for fun.
Left by Scott Miller on Jun 20, 2007 5:19 PM

Your comment:
 (will show your gravatar)

Copyright © Russell Ball | Powered by: