Being an architect or becoming an architect is not an easy thing to do.  In most companies if there is even a single architect you are lucky.  This means that you are on your own to figure out what an architect should really be.  No wonder no one can agree on what an architect is.

One thing I would like to see is an apprenticeship and mentoring program within the architect community.  Experience is key to becoming an architect, but there are component skills that can be grown and nurtured.  We need to be teaching communication, negotiation and decision making skill.  Architects need to learn to balance technology and business concerns.

Microsoft has stepped up and created a respectable certification program (ARCast on the Microsoft Certified Architect) , but there isn't a path to get there.  IASA and WWISA before it have tried to build a community.  Here in the Chicago area neither organization has really taken off.  Hopefully we can get our first IASA chapter meeting in our area at the beginning of next year.

SkyScrapr is a recent web site that seems to be driven by Microsoft which has the potential of being a good resource.  If you visit it you will see that it is growing.  Currently it has definitions, a blog, some articles, hosts the channel9 ARCast Show and Ron Jacobs' architect video series.  Sounds like a good start.

Another resource that you should check out is the architecture forum.  If you need a question answered it is a good place to hang out.  Don't just sit on the sidelines get involved.  If you make a few posts you might get some good discussions going.

But back to the point.  I really think that the only way to get away from developers calling themselves architects is to create an environment to nurture budding architects.  If anyone knows of an existing program that is available to a wide audience let me know.  I would really like to hear thoughts from others on this.  Please leave comments, whether you agree or disagree.