Wednesday, April 23, 2008

IT Architect Regional Conference ends

I wanted to write a quick one about the IT Architect Regional Conference SEA which was over yesterday. One of the questions I got a few times was that how one becomes a software architect.
Well, the quick answer would be that you need to realize that architecture design imposes different kinds of challenges compared to software development. If you become a senior developer it doesn't necessarily mean that you can get promoted to become an Architect. Today that forms one the IASA's missions; to tell everyone in the IT industry that Architecture is a profession of its own.
I, personally, started by reading a lot of books about software architecture or the industry in which I was working. That is, if I worked for a company in supply chain industry, I not only read a lot about SOA (widely used in that industry) but also about SCOR. This was happening when I was doing development works as well. While I was developing applications, I thought about various aspects of the architectural work behind it; its component design, development processes in place, risk mitigation, chosen technology(ies) to develop that application with, the roadmap that was set in place to realize the benefits of that application, user experience, etc.

If you are a developer and want to become a Software Architect, invest in it. As I mentioned being a senior developer doesn't make you a Software Architect.
This doesn't mean that being a Software Architect should keep you away from the details of development works. In fact one of the important things that a software architect should do in "Proper" iterative and incremental development approaches (which are perceived to be the right approach in developing software applications) is to build application's architecture in early stages of development in form of an executable application (sometimes a throw away). A software architect can build an application only if he/she possess development expertise and is familiar with technologies.
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