[lug] Career advice

David Morris lists at morris-clan.net
Fri Jan 1 21:13:39 MST 2010

On Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 18:43, Rob Nagler <nagler at bivio.biz> wrote:
> On 1/1/10, David Morris wrote:
>>  A good software architect is critical to the success of a large
>>  project, but many software projects don't have anyone with the
>>  appropriate skill set to architect a large software system.  Every
>>  successful software project has such a person, though the managers
>>  don't always realize it.
> Fascinating.  Either my company has no successful software projects,
> or your statement is false.  Since there are quite a few companies
> which rely on our software, and we have been in business for 10+
> years, your statement is false.

I'm guessing you misunderstood my statement.  Not surprising as I
don't even understand what that paragraph says and I wrote it. I can
only assume temporary insanity at the time I wrote that!

So let me rephrase:

A software architect is critical to the success of any large software
project.  Every such successful project has a software architect (or
sometimes more than one), but not always designated as such.  The
person filling that role might not even realize what he is doing and
consider it simply good software engineering practice.  But the
existence of a good software design (as indicated by a successful
project) is a clear indication that someone, knowing or not, filled
the role of a software architect.

I should also note that in my experience, a "software architect" is
one of the people actively writing code.  People who call themselves
"software architects" but don't write code or only do so as a
secondary task are managers.  I have worked on projects with a
"software architect" who never touches code.  They might have the
title, but they are most definitely not the software architect for the
project.  Someone else ends up fulfilling that role in their place
from among the coders.


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