Saturday, December 30, 2006
Enterprise Architecture and how we are envious of each other
Like many of my peers, I am guilty of attempting to find patterns in the human aspects of technology when this practice may be a recursive anti-pattern. Folks who think in patterns or at least use the word frequently use it because of the buzzword factor which helps increase its attraction to other demographics who may not be on the same page but want to.
They think "patterns are cool and good" and they also think what they've done is cool and good and therefore must be a pattern. This is kinda like me attacking George Bush and the idiots in the Republican party which makes folks assume that I am somehow Democratic without them ever really asking the question, is George Bush really an idiot?
Even more sinister is that many think they have a good, reusable solution to a recurring problem, but don't yet understand that the solution needs to recur as well as the problem. It is not enough to be reusable, it has to have already been used several times. This thinking by the way should also be applied to service oriented architectures.
Maybe architects who talk in terms of patterns need to stop reading the Gang of Four and instead need to use the pattern books to beat folks upside their heads when they do something stupid. I wonder if the below things could be considered patterns:
- Relying on industry analysts to tell you which products to acquire while not acknowledging they aren't telling you about all the potential products within a space (aka open source)
- Outsourcing Powerpoint presentations to software vendors who are hooked like Pavlov for requests to demo from enterprisey folks
- Not acknowledging that outsourcing is a form of a trap and that cost savings may not materialize
- Mistaking process for architecture
- Changing the meaning of words on the fly (aka distillation) so as to help others understand (in the short term) without acknowledging how this hurts all long-term efforts
- Not knowing the difference between management and leadership
Anyway, use patterns to describe situations and recurring themes but don't use them for tagging to every problem that happens to materialize along the way. Patterns should be applied within a context...