Sunday, January 24, 2010

IT Architecture: my understanding

All I can say is that IT Architecture is an interesting job. It is a rather new profession, I think started to be defined in 2003, http://www.opengroup.org/itac/faq.html).

It should be the ultimate level of technical excellence one could achieve, understanding technology, systems, processes and businesses. On the other hand, the IT Architect should embrace skills from different areas, not only technical.

An IT Architect performs consulting, PR, marketing and so on, depending on whom he needs to convince or what tasks he has to perform in order to demonstrate business value of its proposed IT architecture.

And, finally, the primary task of an IT Architect is to know how to work with the PM and customer in order to organize the project, once it's sold. Tasks,roles,skills first, then help PM to define the project plan and so on.

But, I've developed a more simple vision, in practice. For me, IT Architects belongs to one of two categories:

1. IT Architect. A professional as described above. Rare species, you won't find many. This is the ultimate fellow which knows what is speaking about because he/she was there, first of all. In development, solving problems with technology. Drawing use-cases, modeling, working with systems, whatever. He/she was there more than writing lines of codes or modeling. Gradually the understanding of the domain grew more than sometimes performing boring tasks (refactoring for example, or adjusting requirement documents).

2. PowerPoint IT Architect. This is a more common individual, which draws slides fast and talk too much without actually getting something done in practice. Everything is simple in front of the customer, in order to sell an idea which might prove a nightmare when delivery approaches.
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