Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Defining Architecture

I'm recently attended one of a series of sessions aimed at developers who are aspiring technical architects. From previous experience, I'd decided that the IEEE definition of architecture (presented below) is spot on; now I just wish that others would subscribe to the same idea.
Architecture is the fundamental organization of a system embodied in its components, their relationships to each other, and to the environment, and the principles guiding its design and evolution. [IEEE 1471]
It bothers me when junior developers use the word to buff up their resumes. It bothers me more when experienced developers are called Technical Architects by their consultancy; they should know better. Architects, by my definition, are those people who specialize in architecture as a profession. They are not the people who can recite a few patterns and have skimmed through a couple of Martin Fowler's books (although both of these traits might be present in a real architect). Hmmm. Let's see if the next session is any better.

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