97 Things Every Architect should know

As spoken by Richard Monson-Haefel at the Java User Group Meeting put on by TekSystems.

We covered ten general themes in the short amount of time we had.

  • The user interface is critical
  • Nothing Lasts
    • Cobol, Smalltalk, Waterfall, nothing in software lasts. Chances are if you think it will last you just need to wait longer.
  • Data is forever
  • Flexibility breeds complexity
    • Something that is flexible is almost always complicated, but if something is designed to be simple it can be flexible.
  • Manage your expectations
  • Know thy business
    • The business is key to making great decisions in architecture. You have a responsibility to know all of aspects of the business side and technical side. Similar to a CIO but you get paid a lot less.
    • Understanding the business domain
  • Maintain the vision
  • Software architects should also be coders
    • Take some time every week to sit down with the coders. You will figure out what their pain points are and it will help you make better architectural decisions.
    • Share your knowledge and experience
  • There is no substitute for experience
    • Creating software is a trade. It is learned over time, and best learned by working with great people. It is similar to being a plumber or an electrician. You go to class for a little bit, and then you work as an apprentice. Architecture is no different.
  • The list in its entirety can be found at

    97 things every software architect should know the book


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