10 July,2012 by Jack Vamvas
Consulting for different companies , I’ve noticed the Architect role definition role varies. The range of titles reflects the different domains of an IT department. In the last few months I’ve dealt with : Enterprise Architect, Solutions Architect, Data Architect , Project architect, Business Architect, Information architect, Application architect, Database Architect, Java Architect, Technology architect.
The differences can be subtle – read Database Architect versus Data Architect
The Architects interaction with the project team depends on the environment. In agile , rapid project turnover sites, the Architect may code . I’ve met Architects who claim it’s a prerequisite to be an effective Architect.
In other companies – the Architect is abstracted from the physical coding – spending time developing a perspective on the Enterprise. Communicating with different strands of the business to create solutions for business problems.
It’s clear differences exist in Architect job Titles and what those titles mean in different organisations. Despite the differences – Architects have common skills and traits.
This list comprises a wide range of skills and patterns . Different architects will focus according to their strengths and organisational requirements.
1) Challening – An Architect should be able to challenge the assumptions. They should be able to think beyond the repeated IT and business clichés , question engineers and business. Get to the essence of the problem.
2) Bridging - Think about effective ways to work with business , industry standards, common issues, DBA, design patterns. Bringing together the relevant people.
3) Analyze – The information is gathered. What now? What is important? How can I integrate the different strands of thought into something understandable?
4) Concepts – Put the solution onto paper! Talk is cheap, putting the concepts onto paper requires a solid understanding of the ideas discussed.
5) Identify relevancy – The best Architects focus on the important details. They hide irrelevant details.
6) Drawing –. How to create models. When presenting models , good Architects explain to non-visual thinkers the basic concepts.
7) Formalize - This is not about nice pictures. Good architects create diagrams understandable by the user group. They will use a common approach of visualizing the solution.
8) Communicate – Writing - in Plain English. Speaking. Drawing. Connect with users. Influence
9) Enable – Is the Architect making someones job easier? If so, they are doing a good job. If not , they must reconsider the approach. Different techniques include: Consulting, Examples, Checklist
10) Assist – Work with project teams to use the Architecture details