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Architecture is not inflexible dogma

Chris Petrilli goes off on a great rant against the typical stupidities of corporate IT:

"People obsess over the choice of tools, but the true talent, and the true skill, is the understanding of business problems that are trying to be solved, including the window available. If my tool—whatever it is—can help me focus and be more collaborative with the people whose problems I’m trying to solve, then it’s a better tool."

Coffeehouse chess players have often memorized all the moves for all the variations for all the standard chess openings--as recorded in books. But when a Grandmaster presents them with a move not in the books, they're lost. After all, it's the grandmasters who write those books.

True artists create great works of art using their native talent. Others paint by the numbers. Of course, true artists specify those numbers.

True software architects know when to apply architectural/design patterns elucidated by others, and when and how to invent their own if that's appropriate. Enterprisey architects follow the rules popularized a decade (or more) ago by someone they ignored at the time, but whose methodology and thinkng they now apply dogmatically without fully understanding the system's limitations.

Gifted sofware engineers know when counting the number of classes, or the number of methods, or the number of instance variables is a valid measure of code quality--and they know when such "painting by the numbers" is simply invalid to the case at hand.

Great architects judiciously break the mold, creating new rules that work better than the old ones. Dogmatic architects defend the old rules by force of habit, because that's the "safe" thing to do.

Don't be caught fiddling while the enterprise burns.

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