Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Are blogs of enterprisey architects confusing?

Pat Patterson and other bloggers sometimes struggle to understand the questions asked by the enterprise crowd and I wanted to chime in and provide insight as to why questions are sometimes asked in a certain way.

Most folks who are employed by large enterprises are governed by media relations policies that barely allow them to even mention to their spouses what company employs them. One thing that is common is that you generally can't say anything good or bad about a particular vendor as avoiding an endorsement is the common practice.

This results in enterprise architects using patterns such as name dropping. For example, whenever I talk about static analysis, I will always mention at least three vendors such as Ounce Labs, Fortify Software and Coverity so as to not sound like an endorsement of any particular tool.

Another pattern we use is to make certain discussions more transparent. So, before you become a vendor, you will know exactly what is important to us and will hopefully move your product to the place we desire or at least fine tweak your thinly-veiled dog-and-pony show to at least sound like you are.

Sometimes questions are asked even when the answer is known. For example, on LinkedIn, I asked how many software vendors have ever appeared in a Gartner Magic Quadrant without paying for it. The dialog around this causes insights above and beyond the additional question.

Anyway, if you are confused by any posting in the blogosphere by an enterprisey architect, don't assume ignorance as everything happens for a reason. Instead, consider probing at any assertion and turning it into a dialog...

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