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

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Chapter 45. Learn from Architects of Buildings

After many years as an amateur, Keith Braithwaite was first paid to write software in 1996. After that first job, maintaining a compiler built with lex and yacc, he progressed first to modelling microwave propagation for GSM network planning, then seasonal variations in demand for air freight, in C++. A move to consultancy (and Java) introduced him to CORBA and then EJB, and then what was called at the time "e-commerce." He is currently a principal consultant with Zuhlke and manages its Centre of Agile Practice.

Keith Braithwaite
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Architecture is a social act and the material theater of human activity.

—Spiro Kostof

HOW MANY SOFTWARE ARCHITECTS see their role as exclusively, or primarily, technical? Is it not rather that they are the conciliators, go-betweens and arbiters of the warring factions among the stake-holders? How many approach their work in a purely intellectual spirit, without giving proper weight to the human factors of their job?

A great architect is not made by way of a brain nearly so much as he is made by way of a cultivated, enriched heart.

—Frank Lloyd Wright

What more strongly marks out the architects in your organization: raw intellectual horsepower and vast capacity to recall technical minutiae, or taste, refinement, and generosity of spirit? Under which tendency would you prefer to work?

A doctor can bury his mistakes but ...

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