Timothy High is a software architect with more than 15 years' experience with web, multitiered client-server, and application-integration technologies. He is currently working as a software architect for Sakonnet Technologies, a leader in Energy Trading and Risk Management (ETRM) software.
THINGS ARE USUALLY EASIER SAID THAN DONE, and software architects are notoriously good at coming up with things to say. To keep your words from becoming a lot of hot air (generally the key ingredient in making vaporware), you need a good team of developers. The role of an architect is usually to impose constraints, but you also have the opportunity to be an enabler. To the extent your responsibilities allow, you should do everything possible to empower your developers.
Make sure developers have the tools they need. Tools shouldn't be imposed on developers, they should be carefully chosen to make sure they are the right tools for the job at hand. Repetitive and mindless work should be automated wherever possible. Also, it is well worth the investment to make sure developers have top-notch machines to work with, adequate network bandwidth, and access to software, data, and information necessary to carry out their work.
Make sure they have the skills they need. If training is required, make sure they get it. Invest in books and promote active discussions about ...