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Habits of the successful software architect

Jack Vaughan

We spoke last month about SOA skills with Jim Green CEO, Composite Software. Along with others, Green created a book entitled "An Implementors' Guide to SOA: Getting it Right."

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As more projects go to production - and as more SOA projects come under more critical scrutiny - the book offers a tonic of sorts. Its authors discuss issues confronting enterprise architects right now.

Recently we spoke with another of the book's authors: Jeff Schneider, CEO, MomentumSI. Like others, he said a past record of being able to navigate various technology eras and technology types can be a good clue to uncovering the better architect.

What are the habits and traits of a highly successful software architect? Broadly, that is hard to say, of course. Individual team members fill-in various gaps to make a winning SOA team. But Schneider emphasized that the person charged with hiring should focus on overall ability to learn, and not just familiarity with SOA.

"The wrong way to do hiring is to focus on figuring out how much they know about SOA," said Schneider. "The right way is to see how good a person this is in their willingness to learn."

In some advanced settings, you may need the frontier-style technologist, but you must see this in the context of the whole project. The visionary may not be in there at the finish, he indicated.

"Early adopters tend to be starters, not finishers," said Schneider. They also are more likely to be 'job hoppers,' he added. You may pull in good SOA talent, knowing you may be renting that talent, he said.

"People who have gone through a language or IT paradigm shift - that have experienced the bumps," are useful to the SOA effort, said Schneider.

"An Implementors' Guide to SOA: Getting it Right" provides a way of thinking about the essential skills of SOA. That also means looking at what stage of SOA adoption you stand at. For his part, author Schneider distinguishes between the larger scoping of the SOA program, and the actual implementation of the SOA projects. Often, the people who are good at creating overarching programs are not the same as the steady-handed people need to implement them on a project-by-project basis.

Read an excerpt from "An Implementors' Guide to SOA: Getting it Right" entitled 'Designing Services.'

Download the book in pdf.

Find the book at Amazon.com.


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