Thursday, October 04, 2007


Enterprise Architecture: Patterns vs Presentations

A couple of weeks ago, I had an email exchange with Gunnar Peterson regarding creating "cartoons" for IT executives where we were noodling explaining the notion of security via Web 2.0 style presentations. Yesterday, I had a conversation with an architect regarding security anti-patterns that I observe in the wilderness known as our IT infrastructure and realized that these two thoughts are complimentary yet at the same time opposed...

Many of my enterprise architect peers spend a lot of time presenting chock-a-block eye candy Powerpoint presentations and have never really stopped to ask ourselves whether this is always a good idea. We understand that this for the most part works when we are communicating to IT executives and folks in the business and resort to laziness and justify it as reuse by using the same effort to more technical members of IT, but is this the right thing to do?

At some level, many of us haven't taken a pause and realized that we are failing lower in the ranks because our tactics of using Powerpoint convey only an illusion of control that developers and others have learned to ignore.

Lately, I have been busy writing software and memories of the days when I used to think in patterns has been returning. The most interesting thing is that you can still find dozens of developers that find delight in reading about design patterns such as chain-of-responsibility and facade, reading about architecture patterns such as half-sync, half-async and even collaboration anti-patterns such as blowhard jamboree. I need to ask myself, why aren't enterprise architects communicating anymore in terms of patterns? Most of us know how but may not consider what has worked well in the past may also work good in the future? I surely hope we haven't thrown the baby out with the bath water as we align with the business...

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