Monday, August 08, 2005

FarCaster: SilverFever

FarCaster: SilverFever

Scott Shattuck, a big smart guy who I've had the pleasure of working with
at E-speak, has written a great article on the differing roles of software
architects, evangelists and programmers, drawing a great analogy with
the roles on architects and craftsmen in the construction industry.

Architects in both industries need to be generalists, aware of
all the tools, materials and techniques that can be employed, and must
avoid dogma. Programmers, like craftsmen, need to be specialists,
and need to be able to bring their deep experience in a particular
area to overcome hurdles in that arena. They need to be devoted
to their specialization and promote their tools over others, so that new
uses of these tools and their limits can be discovered.

Another wonderful analogy is the comparison of programming languages
to structural materials. C++ is like steel, great for load-bearing, but
inflexible and hard to work with. Java is like wood, with less load-bearing
capability, but more flexible and easier to work with. HTML and sripting
languages are like putty, even more light-weight, but most flexible.
A good architect must be aware how best to use each of these materials.


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