Software Architect's Profession, The: An Introduction, 1st edition

  • Marc Sewell
  • Laura Sewell

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A transformational guide to the profession of software architecture.

Whether a structure is built of bricks, steel, or computer code, the process begins with an architect and client. Together they arrive at a shared vision—a plan—that the architect guides through the bidding, construction, and implementation phases. The Parthenon and the Empire State Building were built according to architectural designs, but the software industry has been building information skyscrapers without architects. It is time for the profession to become a reality.

Successful software-based technology is designed, then built. It does not "develop." Who creates the design? An enormous grass-roots demand exists for software architects-but a true profession of software architecture is not yet established. Many software professionals adopt the gravitas of the title "software architect," but fail to fulfill the true, classical role. Drawing on deep metaphors from traditional architecture, Marc T. Sewell, President of the Worldwide Institute of Software Architects, and Laura M. Sewell examine the nature of architecture, what defines a software architect, and how the profession is coming of age.

The Software Architect's Profession is lingo-free. It is a book of philosophy that will enable anyone to understand software construction, and it is the first "line in the sand" defining the parameters of this fledgling, yet ancient, e-profession.

Key areas include:

  • Bridging the chasm that separates clients from technical professionals
  • Differentiating the professions within the software construction industry and defining the roles and accountabilities of software engineers and software "builders"
  • Discussing the vocational temperament and aptitudes that characterize architects
  • Reviewing the phases of architecture
  • Describing the critical role of the client in understanding and validating the design and construction of software

Whether you are a CIO, CEO, IT manager, software professional, or student, you inhabit software structures, and your world is profoundly affected by their design. The Software Architect's Profession offers a simple cognitive map that will change your world view of software architecture, construction, and the information structures we live and work in everyday.

Table of contents



1. Simple Analogy.

The Perfect Analogy. Finally, a Cognitive Map. The Analogy Reveals the Missing Ingredient Architecture. The Analogy Confers Clarity of Role and Purpose. It All Begins with a Client and an Architect. With the Analogy, Words Are Meaningful. With the Analogy, Processes Are Predictable. The Analogy Brings Order to Complexity and Flexibility. Conclusion.

2. World Without Architects.

The Paradox of the Software Industry. The March of the Notorious. The Federal Aviation Administration. Internal Revenue Service Tax System Modernization (TSM). Conclusion.

3. What Is Architecture?

Technology: The Common Thread of Architecture. Many Definitions of the Indefinable. Utilitas, Venustas, Firmitas. The Mystery of Design. The Lesson of St. Peter's: Harmony and Unity. The Quality Without a Name. Conclusion.

4. A Pithy History of Architecture.

The Greek Ideal. Architects: Anonymous Craftsmen and Superstars. Modern Architecture: Rise and Demise. The Architect as Social Philosopher. Architecture and the Third Wave. Conclusion.

5. The Roles of Software Construction.

Architect, Builder, Engineer, Scientist. Guiding Principles. Software Architects Decide How the Structure Will Look and Act. Software Engineers Make the Structure Sound. Developers Build the Structure. Computer Scientists Further Knowledge. The Role of the Client. Defining, Not Limiting. An Indelicate, but Trenchant, Illustration of the Roles of Construction. Conclusion.

6. The Role of the Software Architect.

The Role of the Architect Begins with the Client. The Architect as Client Advocate and Design Champion. The Art of Listening. The Art of Observation. The Art of Strategy. The Pyramid in Paris. Conclusion.

7. The Phases of Architecture-Driven Software Construction.

Two Overall Phases. Architectural Phases, with Caveats. The Design Is Not the Deliverable. Caution: These Design Phases Are Not Linear. The Building Phases. Conclusion: The Party Phase.

8. The Architectural Plan.

The Characteristics of an Architectural Plan. Good Architects, Good Plans. Why Have Plans at All? The Levels of the Plan. Conclusion.

9. Educating Software Architects.

Second Wave Education, Third Wave Needs. Still Another Crisis. We Are What We Do. What Is the Profile of a Computer Scientist? Architecture Education. Establishing Software Architecture Education. Can Design Be Taught? Conclusion.

10. Venturing to Call Ourselves Architects.

What Is a Profession? Client Expectations. A Standard Body of Knowledge. Education. Identity. A Code of Ethics and Standards. Where to Begin.


Published by Pearson (September 19th 2001) - Copyright © 2002