Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sowing the Seeds...

Check out this post by world famous "charpentier de logique" James Mcgovern on UML and Software Engineering where he suggests that I am neither:


  • "architect nor engineer but more of an ecologist and gardener"

As is common for the artfully succinct yet loquacious Mcgovern. I initally read this as a back-handed compliment and took pause before responding.

Contre-riposte:
I do not what credentials, James accepts for being architect, but I am one. I can state that in confidence because the results of the majority of my architecture has been positive. Where it wasn't I will admit it was "due in part at least to my inability to make untractable clients see the truth in matters of design." (-Walter Hall to Frank Lloyd Wright regarding concerns for Fallingwater in1936) .

Lets get the point though...the words "architect", "software architect", "systems engineer" are all job descriptions/roles in Coporate America. I appreciate the observation of me as an ecologist, but that is probably a reflection of HOW I AM when I write and speak--think of style. Calling me a gardener is suggestive of my PHILOSOPHIES of organic growth, being a Johnny Appleseed of ideas when working with stakeholders (yes a few have sprouted) and being able to see a system as a garden and flourishing even though it has weeds and a couple bad plants - think of this as technique.

I like the similarities in the metaphor of architects and gardeners.

  • You can read books in both but never "get it" until you actually do it
  • You can get hung up on understanding the big latin words/technical terms or focus on requirements to achieve a result
  • There is no ONE book...but a Farmers' Almanac for IT seems like a future post idea
  • Successful gardeners do not just worry about there own gardens. They volunteer for others and always teach in order to learn themselves.
  • Few gardeners worry just about tulips (this ain't Holland) . We have many plants which like languages have different needs and problems.
  • We both worry about bugs--its just that the gardeners figured out how to work with like worms, honeybees and ladybugs (the good bugs)
  • We both are sensitive to "light"

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