Monday Feb 20, 2012

ArchBeat Link-o-Rama Top Ten

The top 10 most clicked links shared via my social networks for the week of February 13-18, 2012.

  1. Unit Testing Asynchronous BPEL Processes Using soapUI | Daniel Amadei
    Thanks to its support for Mocking and WS-Addressing, soapUI can be used to test asynchronous BPEL processes. Daniel Amadei shows you how in this OTN technical article.
  2. Multicast Vs. Unicast with WebLogic Clustering | Sabha Parameswaran
    Oracle Fusion Middleware A-Team solutions architect Sabha Parameswaran offers a brief comparision and some general guidelines around using the different messaging options in this post on his "All Things Middleware" blog.
  3. The making of the Oracle Service Bus 11g Development Cookbook | Guido Schmutz
    Oracle ACE Guido Schmutz shares some background information on the book he recently completed in collaboration with Mischa Kölliker, Jan van Zoggel, and fellow Oracle ACES Edwin Biemond and Eric Elzinga. The book is available now.
  4. Diagnose SOA Suite 11g Issues Using RDA (Remote Diagnostic Agent) | Shawn Bailey
    Bailey's extensive post includes diagrams, screenshots, links to documentation resources, and a link to a webcast where you can see all of it in action.
  5. Thanks to the cloud, integration is back — with a twist | David Linthicum
    InfoWorld columnist David Linthicum shares his insight into the evolution of integration in the age of Cloud Computing.
  6. Your Presentation at the "Oracle SOA & BPM Customer Insights Online Summit" | Jyothi Swaroop
    Jyothi wants to hear from those interested in presenting at an upcoming virtual summit. Come on, you know you want to. You can get semi-famous and save on air fare. Your boss will be happy to have such a smart, thrifty person on the payroll.
  7. Enterprise Architecture, Organizational Structure, and Company Performance | Travis Wissink
    Wissink's contribution to the Oracle Experiences in Enterprise Architecture article series includes a couple of examples that illustrate the connections.
  8. Cloud Conference Goes Global; Hands-on Java; Cloud Considerations
    This one is a link to the OTN Architect Homepage, which always features the latest and greatest content from across the OTN architect community and a wealth of resources covering SOA, Cloud Computing, Virtualization, and and other topics
  9. Lessons Learned in Large Scale Transformations | Hamidou Dia
    Hamidou Dia's brief case history of the IT transformation efforts at Bank of America and Dell is also part of the Oracle Experiences in Enterprise Architecture article series.
  10. Coherence Clustering Principles | David Felcey
    David Felcey's detailed post is a great primer for those interested in learning more about Oracle Coherence.

Tuesday Dec 20, 2011

Readers react to "Out of the Tower; Into the Trenches"

The Architect Community column in the November/December 2011 issue of Oracle Magazine focused on why IT architects are often subject to disrespect and disregard from development teams. Given the title of the article -- Out of the Tower; Into the Trenches -- I wasn't at all surprised that several readers took the time to email their comments to the magazine's editors. Those readers were kind enough to grant permission to post their comments here.

One of those readers is Zoran Gligorevic, an enterprise architect whose experience spans "25 years, 20 companies, and 10 countries." He says that because the title "architect" is so highly desirable (ranked the #1 job in the US in a 2010 CNN/Money poll) it attracts many who lack the necessary knowledge and experience.

"In my experience," says Gligorevic, "60% of architects on the market are all talk, just pretending to be architects. Very often, when developers or application operators lack respect for an IT architect it's because that architect has less knowledge and experience than the developers." 

Gligorevic suggests that those who crave the architect title but lack the ability to design application software should try to find a position as a business architect -- but only if the candidate has a thorough understanding of business processes.

Itsik Rubin, an applications architect, believes that the more developers are "part of the furniture," the greater the divide and discontent. "I find in such cases there is a significant lack in governance," Rubin says. "Working to fill up this gap does not take the resentment and disrespect away but definitely goes a long way in ensuring that the architect's recommendations are being implemented."

Robert Gordon, a data architect, sees similarities between the disrespect developers have toward IT architects and the reason drivers hate traffic lights, especially drivers who are late for work.

"If management doesn't have a problem with shoddy islands of automation haphazardly slapped together as quickly as humanly possible, and doesn't mind dealing with constant rework and outright re-development, then they should just do away with the architecture function altogether and save money," says Gordon. "On the other hand, if management buys into the potential for architecture to add significant value to the enterprise in the long run, they should be the ones to push an architecture mentality as a cultural change for all of IT, really all of the business. A culture of merely getting projects done as quickly and cheaply as possible constitutes a dangerous game of 'name that tune,' that in the long run often imposes more costs and consumes more time than the original budget and schedule portrayed, long after all the accolades and awards have been doled out to the original project team members! The role and importance of architecture should be included in developer training so that the architects don't need to waste valuable time enlightening the masses at the beginning of every project."

Ganesh Prasad, a consultant architect with WSO2, says that it isn't always possible for architects to get into the trenches, as the article suggests. "Architects are required to charge at least part of their time to projects, and project managers are keen to minimise the burn rate of their projects and hence will not encourage architect involvement beyond the necessary minimum (e.g., design review meetings or working group meetings). Enterprise funding of architecture is a solution to this particular problem, but it makes architects a more visible target to IT management because they're now seen as an overhead," Prasad says. "There are no easy answers."

Perhaps not, but at least there is conversation around solving the problem.  

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