So I am part of the Enterprise Architecture group now. That makes me laugh. In my admittedly narrow experience, architects have never seemed relevant to my responsibilities. That is part of why I took the job. See if I could figure out what this is all about.
I have come to think of myself as an engineer. I build things that people use. Point me to a business problem. I can find my way from the problem to a solution, soup to nuts. Part of this work is architecture, the decisions that are expensive to change. The work also includes business analysis, and solution design (tech-agnostic, and tech-centric). Then there is construction of the solution – coding, and testing. Last but not least, deploy the solution, and support it. Drive this whole ship forward with agility.
On a day to day basis, my job is to do whatever needs done to get work out the door. Every day finds me doing this, that, or all the work mentioned above.
I have been a working software engineer in several different environments. The architects that I have come across in that journey have been of little help.
- Have architects had knowledge that I did not? Not that I ever saw. Anything they told me, I could pick up off the internet in a couple of hours. Often, a little due diligence on my part would reveal the weakness in their choices.
- Had the architects created solutions, which I could use, as is, to do my work? In my personal experience, no. Many of them considered themselves above what they called, ‘development‘.
- Did the architects have skills that I could borrow? Could I say, look, I have a problem, can you solve it for me, or can you teach me to solve it? This never happened either.
So, why take the job
There has to be more to being an architect than I have seen. If that is true, I would like to find out what I have missed.
Architects seem to have more access to both business and executive IT management. It would be useful to see the world from their point of view.
An engineer solves business problems. The architect role gets me closer to the essential business. Engineering starts there. Now, fewer people will be surprised when I ask, wait, what business purpose does this serve; why must we do this.
In any event, the die is cast. Let’s see how it rolls.