Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Why do folks become Architects?

I wonder if others would acknowledge that programming is somewhat boring...

Despite all the interesting things you might learn in college or while teaching yourself programming during your spare time, most actual programming work (at least in large enterprises) involves nothing more than the following:

  • Creating, displaying, and updating database records.

  • Moving data from one place to another, possibly making some trivial change to its representation.

  • Writing "glue" between other modules/components.

  • Printing tabular reports.

  • If this truly is the case, why wouldn't more folks in large enterprises embrace IT outsourcing to places such as India so that they can focus on truly interesting problems. Why not give all the lower-quality IT work to folks in other countries so that we can spend time expanding our own horizons.

    Several of my industry peers use languages such as Ruby on Rails at home but never really talk about it at work as there is almost never any opportunity to use it. Likewise, architects sometimes become pattern-oriented and desire to talk to others about it but run into the lack of opportunity to appropriately use them. Everyone is too busy writing programs that read a record, count a record, print a record, repeat...

    If you think even deeper on the problem space, you will realize that 99% of all programming is simply reinventing the wheel. Most programmers spend their time maintaining existing programs. "New" programs are generally just rewrites of existing programs, adapted to new operating systems, new programming languages, new standards, or new infrastructure.

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