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97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know by Richard Monson-Haefel

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Chapter 27. There Is No 'I' in Architecture

Dave Quick is the owner, chief architect, janitor, and sole employee of Thoughtful Arts. Thoughtful Arts develops off-the-shelf software for musicians and provides software design consulting for companies who develop music, or arts-oriented software.

Dave Quick
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I KNOW, THERE REALLY IS AN 'I' IN ARCHITECTURE. But it's not a capital 'I', calling attention to itself, dominating discussion. The lowercase character fits neatly within the word. It's there only because it fulfills requirements for proper spelling and pronunciation.

How does that relate to us as software architects? Our egos can be our own worst enemy. Who hasn't experienced architects who:

  • think they understand the requirements better than the customers,

  • view developers as resources hired to implement their ideas, or

  • get defensive when their ideas are challenged or ignore the ideas of others?

I suspect any experienced architect has fallen into at least one of these traps at some point. I've fallen into all of them and learned painful lessons from my mistakes.

Why does this happen?

  • We've had success. Success and experience build self-confidence and allow us to become architects. Success leads to bigger projects. There is a fine line between self-confidence and arrogance. At some point the project is bigger than our personal ability. Arrogance sneaks in when we cross that line but don't ...

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