Software Architects: skillset?

Discussion in 'Java' started by richardsosborn@gmail.com, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Guest

    I'm in a medium sized project for a large federal agency. My
    company is sub-contracted under a large defense contractor.
    We have a "Software Architect" designing alot of the system's
    sub-applications, features, etc.

    In out trade product evaluations, he had no idea what a JMS server
    was (IE App server), doesn't know much about java, and less about
    Struts. Is this common to anyone else? Of the three architects
    I've met, they seemed to be almost more of a software engineer
    skillset than this.
     
    , Nov 29, 2006
    #1
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  2. Chris Smith Guest

    <> wrote:
    > In out trade product evaluations, he had no idea what a JMS server
    > was (IE App server), doesn't know much about java, and less about
    > Struts. Is this common to anyone else? Of the three architects
    > I've met, they seemed to be almost more of a software engineer
    > skillset than this.


    Software architect is just a phrase, and it has no precise definition
    that is common between different companies and environments. Some
    possible definitions include:

    1. A person who was a software engineer or designer, and got promoted.
    Does pretty much the same thing they used to do. They should know Java,
    and be familiar with middleware.

    2. A person who is responsible for determining how major software suites
    will fit together to solve a problem. Only a very large scale project
    will have the need for such a person, and they need very different
    skills from a developer. It doesn't much matter if they can write code,
    though they ought to know what JMS is.

    3. Artificial intelligence that designs buildings.

    --
    Chris Smith
     
    Chris Smith, Nov 29, 2006
    #2
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  3. Daniel Dyer Guest

    On Wed, 29 Nov 2006 18:30:14 -0000, Chris Smith <> wrote:

    > <> wrote:
    >> In out trade product evaluations, he had no idea what a JMS server
    >> was (IE App server), doesn't know much about java, and less about
    >> Struts. Is this common to anyone else? Of the three architects
    >> I've met, they seemed to be almost more of a software engineer
    >> skillset than this.

    >
    > Software architect is just a phrase, and it has no precise definition
    > that is common between different companies and environments. Some
    > possible definitions include:
    >
    > 1. A person who was a software engineer or designer, and got promoted.
    > Does pretty much the same thing they used to do. They should know Java,
    > and be familiar with middleware.
    >
    > 2. A person who is responsible for determining how major software suites
    > will fit together to solve a problem. Only a very large scale project
    > will have the need for such a person, and they need very different
    > skills from a developer. It doesn't much matter if they can write code,
    > though they ought to know what JMS is.
    >
    > 3. Artificial intelligence that designs buildings.


    I agree that the meaning of "software architect" can vary. However, in my
    opinion, an architect is someone who is more concerned with delivering the
    non-functional requirements (scalability, high-availability, average
    response times, etc.) than a "normal" software developer would be.

    Dan.

    --
    Daniel Dyer
    http://www.uncommons.org
     
    Daniel Dyer, Nov 29, 2006
    #3
  4. Guest

    >
    > I agree that the meaning of "software architect" can vary. However, in my
    > opinion, an architect is someone who is more concerned with delivering the
    > non-functional requirements (scalability, high-availability, average
    > response times, etc.) than a "normal" software developer would be.
    >
    > Dan.
    >
    > --
    > Daniel Dyer
    > http://www.uncommons.org


    he hails from what i understand to be a more "analyst" oriented
    organization. (harris corporation) many of their other people here
    have alot of great req's and design experience. but almost no one
    in their entire 8,000 person organization has large scale development
    experience (jms, esb, soa)
     
    , Nov 29, 2006
    #4
  5. wrote:
    > I'm in a medium sized project for a large federal agency. My
    > company is sub-contracted under a large defense contractor.
    > We have a "Software Architect" designing alot of the system's
    > sub-applications, features, etc.
    >
    > In out trade product evaluations, he had no idea what a JMS server
    > was (IE App server), doesn't know much about java, and less about
    > Struts. Is this common to anyone else? Of the three architects
    > I've met, they seemed to be almost more of a software engineer
    > skillset than this.


    I would say that a good software architect should have a solid
    understanding of the practical implementation of the architecture.

    Arne
     
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Arne_Vajh=F8j?=, Dec 9, 2006
    #5
  6. Ed Guest

    skrev:

    > I'm in a medium sized project for a large federal agency. My
    > company is sub-contracted under a large defense contractor.
    > We have a "Software Architect" designing alot of the system's
    > sub-applications, features, etc.
    >
    > In out trade product evaluations, he had no idea what a JMS server
    > was (IE App server), doesn't know much about java, and less about
    > Struts. Is this common to anyone else? Of the three architects
    > I've met, they seemed to be almost more of a software engineer
    > skillset than this.


    There is a view that a software architect that doesn't write code is
    not to be trusted.

    I like Rational's 4+1 architecture view (I despise Rational's RoseRT as
    one of the top three tools I've ever had to use, but that's another
    story). They say that architecture is:
    - Logical view: The software itself. Yip: the source code.
    - Process view: encompasses performance, scalability, availability, and
    all the other ilities.
    - Development view: encompasses the development environment.
    - Physical view: the iron your programs will run on. (Ok, ok: the
    silicon.)
    - Scenario view: use case scenarios. "Flowcharts," as your grand-daddy
    would call them.

    So for me an architect should at least have expert knowledge in each
    area. If your architect doesn't know what you app server is, then he's
    failing in at least two of those areas, maybe more.

    ..ed

    --

    www.EdmundKirwan.com - Home of The Fractal Class Composition
     
    Ed, Dec 9, 2006
    #6
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