Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Five reasons why good photographers make good (IT) architects (or the other way around)

In a different life (or maybe even this one, one day) I would have been a photographer and still occasionally dust off my camera to take a few snaps. I recently took to thinking about the traits that IT architects have and decided there were some similarities between them:
  1. A good photographer knows how to use the ideas of others and adapt them accordingly. See here for a wacky adaption of some classic images
  2. A good photographer sees things others don't by applying interesting or novel views. Here's an attempt from me:
  3. Photography is both an art and a science. The best photographs come from applying both. See here for a great example.
  4. Don McCullin says "I only use a camera like I use a toothbrush. It does the job." A good architect knows how to use tools and technology but does not get distracted by them.
  5. You don't need lots of expensive kit to be a good photographer however when you do want to acquire some shiny new stuff you usually need to convince your sponsor (AKA partner in most cases) of the benefits of the new technology. Architects usually need to convince their sponsor of the business benefits of a new system, not the technical ones. See here for a great exposition of this.


Welcome to my blog. As a start I'll revive my "five axioms of (IT) architecture" which I came up with a while ago now and which hopefully will have some relevance and usefulness to would be followers of this blog.
  1. Architecture should drive technology, not the other way round.
  2. All architecture is design but not all design is architecture. As blogged by Grady Booch here.
  3. The best architectures are full of patterns. Also stated by Grady Booch, though I'm not sure where.
  4. An architecture should not comprise a single 'view', good architectures have many views that satisfy the concerns of multiple stakeholders.
  5. An architecture should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. Paraphrased from Einstein.