A Trace in the Sand
Online Architecture Journal by Ruth Malan
I also write at:
Trace in the
1/16/08 Architects Architecting Architecture Notes
This architects architecting architecture journal is close to two years old. If you're new to this outlet for my observations on software and systems architecting, why, you might be excited to find that you can get at my writing from past months by clicking on the monthly archives listed in the sidebar. Then again, I know you have better things to do.
Ah, to do—the IBM ad series in Fortune magazine: action not talk. Action is important. We titled the book we've been working on "Software Architecture Action Guide" to put the emphasis on action. But "action not talk"? That might win popular favor, and there are many playing that game in the software field.
My design idea for the book was to weave inspiration and action together in each chapter, to emulate what I believe an architect needs to do. Architects are leaders. Leaders cannot simply act. Leaders lead people. People need context, a sense of a destiny worth striving for, and a general plan that shows how various contributions will integrate to create greater value than a piecemeal jumble of ad hoc parts. Inspiration. Roadmap. Communication. Action.
"Think like a person of action, and act like a person of thought."
Howard Behar, It's Not About the Coffee, 2007
Well, enough inspiring. (Didn't you miss me?) Now, to do.
1/17/08 Thanks Mark
Mark Mullin gave me a thoughtful endorsement on Linked-In, including recommending my journal/blog, and Mark linked to my journal in a blog post he wrote last year. Thanks Mark! A great man recognizes that his recommendations do not diminish him, but rather speak to his character and resourcefulness—this post notwithstanding. ;)
1/18/08 Architecture Workshops
We have (at last) set up two open enrollment classes in the first half of the year:
Apologies (and thanks) to all who have been waiting for (and patiently reminding) me to post this on the Resources for Architects website!
Please tell anyone who may be interested, so that they can qualify for the early enrollment discount. Early enrollments allow us to confidently contract with the venue (cancellation penalties are punitive for meeting space), so the $400 discount is attractive but the window of opportunity is narrow.
1/31/08 Architect Jobs
I just posted an Enterprise Architect job listing on the Resources for Architects website. It is with Marriott, in Maryland. If you're thinking of applying, by all means tell me all kinds of nice things about how my journal has changed your outlook on yourself as an architect, and your views of the architect role and how to be successful in it, and so forth, liberally, and I'll be happy to send along a recommendation. Oh alright, just demonstrate that you're well qualified some other way then. :)
1/31/08 Greg Ketterman
I (still) don't have time for jotting notes, but I'm too impressed not to make time! You see, Ryan is doing a research project on the Hobie MirageDrive, and he has to have 4 sources—only one of which can be an internet source. One can be an interview, so last week Ryan called Greg Ketterman, Vice President of Design at Hobie and holder of the patent for the Hobie MirageDrive. He didn't reach him, so he left a message saying that he is 9 years old and is doing a research project for school and he'd like to interview Greg and could Greg please call back. Now, I ask you, how many of you would have called back to be interviewed by a 9-year old? Well, yes, most of you, I do acknowledge. But, given an average crowd of inventors and architects? Anyway, Greg called back; that's the part that impressed me. That is what I call amazing time management skills. Something for me to learn from! I mean, an interview with a 9-year old could not have ranked top on Greg's list on any given day. Yet within a week, he managed to call during after-school hours and talked to Ryan for 20 minutes or so.
The other day, I glanced at a book titled something like "eat that frog." Given the title, I couldn't help it. So, it's not my type of book; a cursory glance in desperate moments has left me with the impression that time management books simply tell me not to do email, and just exactly how would I interact with architects around the world if I avoided doing email; and in order to do what? Communicate?
Anyway, from a scan through "eating frogs" I got this: do the worst thing on your to-do list first each day; that way, the thing you would have procrastinated over will be out of the way first and fast, leaving you with the rest of the day... Actually, I don't know if that is the point of the book; don't quote me on it... but that's the hit I got. Now, I guess I'll just have to wait 'til spring when the frogs come back out of their muddy winter hibernation...
could strive to be the
Jamie Uys of online journal writing?]
This journal turns two on February 3! That's Sunday; put a note on your to-do list. And send that glowing note of appreciation first thing, so it doesn't cause endless procrastination for the entire day. Oh alright, don't. But hey, one person bought Wheel on the School from Amazon based on my recommendation/link. Wow, that is some level of power and influence! I'm having quite an impact on this architecture field! But here's a thought: if you're not willing to be led, just what sort of example do you set? And if you won't succumb to a little joy and wonder, just what sort of life is this? Hmmm, does command and control come to mind...?
Again, I'm relying on an intelligent sense of humor... and a recognition that I'm both humble and satirical. Humble? Ok, like this: a chief architect I've been privileged to learn from during a couple of workshops I facilitated, asked if I was teaching the next open software architecture workshop (thereby revealing that he wasn't keeping up with my journal, tsk, tsk). Of course, I immediately thought that meant he would only recommend the workshop to the architects on his team if Dana was teaching it. But he came back with 'I have never taken any courses from Dana. As far as I am concerned, you are “the man”.' Wahoo! I'm the man! I'm the man! And what's more, two architects from his group are now signed up! Gosh, could that mean he really meant it?
Silly animal pictures... must be a January thing... always too much work in January!