Once an architect, always an architect?

I'm currently on holiday. It's not much of a holiday admittedly, as it's doing development work. I thought I'd try "going back" to development for a bit as the project sounded interesting and it would give me a chance to experience being downstream of the architecture.

My expectations have been slightly confounded by the experience; people still treat me like an architect:

  • fundamental decisions are still left to me
  • I have to QA other team's work
  • I remain a technical authority on other projects by virtue of my proximity rather than my ongoing involvement!

And I guess this makes sense - how I view my own role on a project may not correlate with how other people view my role. Titles mean very little in a cross-functional team.

So I suppose what I'm really experiencing is what it's like being downstream of no architecture. It's made me realise how dependent some projects are on architecture or, at least, an architect. It doesn't necessarily take a lot of architecture, or that much of an architect, but it is required nonetheless.

About the author

Kevin has been working with Java for 10 years, in defence research through dot com to investment banking. Currently he works at JPMorgan developing front-office trading solutions.

While getting on well with server-side Java, Kevin's also a keen Swing developer (and possibly masochist).

E-mail : kevin.seal at codingthearchitecture.com


Re: Once an architect, always an architect?

I share your experience. It is a service type role, once you prove you got the skills dealing with the design, abstractions, styles and the project you are hooked...

Re: Once an architect, always an architect?

What do you think would happen if you weren't working so close? Do you think they realise that they *need* an architect?

Re: Once an architect, always an architect?

No doubt the project would fail and the Earth might even stop spinning! ;)

I think proximity does play a part - asynchronous interruptions such as e-mail would be easier to manage and probably be less ad-hoc. Sometimes I can't help getting involved if someone walks over and asks a question!

Who am I kidding? Being involved is far better than being remote! The pros probably far outweigh the cons.


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