The Architect Elevator — Visiting the Upper Floors


Many large organizations see their IT engine separated by many floors from the executive penthouse, which also separates business and digital strategy from the vital work of carrying it out. The primary role of an architect is to ride the elevators between the penthouse and engine room, stopping wherever is needed to support these digital efforts: automating software manufacturing, minimizing up-front decision making, and influencing the organization alongside technology evolution.

“Most of what architects have traditionally done should be done by developers, by tools, or not at all” proclaimed Martin Fowler and Erik Doernenburg at a recent meetup. This may come as a surprise to many architects who are proud to carry their hard-earned title. As Chief Architect of a large financial services company, I do actually agree with their statement – the keyword being “traditionally”.

Traditionally, architects were considered to be those folks who make major design decisions on a project, draw architecture diagrams, and direct developers. Those tasks are in fact better handled by the development team and modern tooling than by a single person. Many modern companies therefore eschew software architect as a separate job title, even though they highly value software architecture. The good news is that many new tasks await architects in large organizations. And they are far more interesting and impactful than drawing class diagrams. However, they require architects to engage at the upper floors of their organization.

Read more at Martin Fowler