I got this question about software architects. Basically the question is are software architects still relevant today. I’ve gotten a couple of people that have asked this so I figured I’d talk about the role of the software architect and where I see it.
A lot of people are talking about how software architects are—why software architects are employed in this new age of agile development in cloud computing. So a lot of teams, development teams basically use an Agile process where they don’t necessarily have roles or everyone wears different hats so where does the software architect play into this so that’s a good question. I think that it’s kind of weird because this is one of the failings of kind of Scrum and Agile methodology is that we tend to—I like the iterative development process, I like the idea of taking something and building on it and really the whole Agile idea or only building what’s necessary and talking to the customer and getting feedback and iterating. But a lot of times we need architecture, we need to plan upfront as well. I think we’re going to get to a point where we eventually can sort of take both these ideas and find the middle ground. I always talk about this idea and it applies especially in software development. It’s like this pendulum, right?
The pendulum swings one way and it swings the other way. We have lots of different pendulums where we go from one direction like for example everything was desktop apps then we went to the web, then we went to mobile apps, and then now we’re trying to make the web look like mobile apps or make the web look like desktop apps. Things go back and forth, technology does. I think the same thing happens with this—is going to happen with this whole idea of kind of the waterfall methodology where we’re designing everything and planning everything and engineering everything upfront whereas on the Agile Scum side we’re kind of swung all the way the other way and we’re like, “No, we don’t need architects. We don’t need plans. We’re just going to go and build the software.” There are merits to both of these things but every time that this pendulum swings back and forth it also swings forward, right? It’s three dimensional so it’s going forward and closer. We’re actually making process as we go from extreme to extreme. I think that’s what’s going to happen here.