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The Profession Of IT Architecture


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The Profession Of IT Architecture

  1. The Profession of IT Architecture Christopher Grant Sr. Architect, Gap Inc. Direct 02/01/2010 Columbus Architecture Group
  2. Objectives • Challenges ▫ Highlight some of the challenges managers and professional face in understanding what IT architecture is. • Architecture in the Organization ▫ Expand our view of architecture and see how it fits in the organization • The Role of Architect ▫ Discuss aspects of various architect types and what skills / focus is required in each
  3. Challenges
  4. Current understanding • People have a vague idea what an architect does ▫ They design an implementation ▫ They are subject matter experts ▫ They may also approve other designs
  5. How to become an Architect • Promotion due to seniority ▫ Bob’s been a Sr. Developer for a long time, promote him to Architect • Promotion due to expertise ▫ Fred really knows his stuff, lets make him an architect • Proactive move to Architecture ▫ Karen applies for new positions in Architecture
  6. Architecture is not Development • Architecture is a different field than Development • Many great developers don’t thrive in architecture ▫ Many end up as developers with an Architect title • Architects utilize different skills ▫ Less development ▫ Project Management ▫ Working with people ▫ Communication
  7. What Architect jobs are out there • IT Architect • Enterprise Architect • Solution Architect • Data Warehouse Architect • Technical Architect • SOA Java Architect • Application Architect • EDI System Architect • Security Architect
  8. Common Architect Titles • Enterprise Architect • Solution Architect • Domain Architect • Application Architect • Technical Architect • Systems Architect
  9. Job Descriptions • Solution Architect: Candidates must be consultative, seasoned veterans who can manage relationships with multiple internal and external parties, present extremely well at the executive level, and contribute with technical expertise to the work of the internal solution development staff.
  10. Job Descriptions • Systems Architect: The System Architect will serve as a SharePoint .NET Developer and will be responsible for assisting in the development and implementation of e-Forms and Electronic Case Files.
  11. Job Descriptions • Enterprise Technical Architect: Performs the leadership, facilitation, analysis and design tasks required for the development of an enterprise technical architecture (ETA) for the project
  12. What a mess • Lack of standard terminology • Varying expectations • Wide range of skill sets • How can leaders ensure proper skills coverage • How can professionals plan a career path • How can mangers evaluate and guide Architects
  13. Architecture in the Organization Areas of Architecture
  14. Types of Architecture • To understand what architects do we need to look at the environment they work in • In the next section we’ll look at how Architecture is segmented and fits in an IT organization
  15. Methods and Frameworks • Zachman • Togaf • Archimate • National Institute of Health • Integrated Architecture Framework
  16. Zachman Vertical Scope {contextual} Planner Business Model {conceptual} Owner System Model {logical} Designer Technology Model {physical} Builder Detailed Representation {out-of-context} Subcontractor Functioning Enterprise Horizontal What - Data How - Function Where - Network Who - People When - Time Why - Motivation • Categorizes Architecture based on a Grid
  17. Zachman
  18. TOGAF 9 • Architecture Principles, Vision and Requirements • Business Architecture • Information Systems Architectures • Technology Architecture • Architecture Realization
  19. Archimate
  20. National Institute of Health
  21. Integrated Architecture Framework
  22. Common Elements Business Architecture (What) Information Architecture (How) Technology Architecture (Where)
  23. Enterprise Architecture Areas • Business Architecture (What) ▫ What do they do ▫ Who does it ▫ Which information do they use ▫ Where is it done • Information Architecture (How) ▫ Data Architecture ▫ Integration Architecture ▫ Application Architecture • Technology Architecture (Where) ▫ Systems Architecture ▫ Infrastructure ▫ Network ▫ Hardware
  24. The Architect Role
  25. What is an architect The Open Group states: • An IT Architect defines solutions to client business problems through the reasoned application of information technology. • Those solutions are documented as architectures and can include systems, applications, and process components.
  26. Definition Simplified • High level ▫ Solves a technical problem ▫ Communicates the solution ▫ Verifies implementation follows communicated solution
  27. Architect v. Developer • Developer ▫ Problem: How to implement the Data Access Layer ▫ Focused on solving an individual task ▫ Communication: Little to none ▫ Verifies Implementation: Often implements personally • Architect ▫ Problem: How to integrate the Data Layer Business Logic and UI ▫ Planning for multiple efforts ▫ Communication: Working with multiple developers ▫ Verifies Implementation: Participates in code / implementation reviews
  28. Common Roles • Enterprise (planner) • Domain (owner) • Solution (coordinator) • Technical / Application (designer) • Implementer/ Developer (builder)
  29. Role Differentiation • Architect role is defined by ▫ Focus – what elements does the solution cover ▫ Time – What is the length of time needed to implement the solution Enterprise Architect Domain Architect Application Architect Focus Planning Horizon
  30. Application Architect • The designer • Focused on the right way to use a specific technology • Tends to be feature oriented • Tend to evolve from Sr. Developers • The most detailed level of architecture • Industry based Knowledge • Audience: Developers
  31. Application Architect • Would utilizes design patterns • Implement the best solution for a specific task • Lead developer often fills this role • Very few work products are actually produced • Whiteboards or code stubs used to communicate
  32. Solution Architect • The coordinator • Project oriented • Coordinates with multiple domain architects to design the most appropriate solution. • Knowledge of managing people /projects
  33. Solution Architect • Designs solutions that meet project requirements as well as domain and enterprise architecture guidelines. • Communication: presents solution to a governance board. Also explains the solution to a developer • Work products are eventually owned by the domain architect. • Audience: App Architects / Developers
  34. Domain Architect • The owner • Focus on all aspects of a specific area • Eg. Application owner would be interested in integration, security, performance, runtime, etc • Audience: Solution Architects, Application Architects, Enterprise Architects, Business Partners • A role few are prepared for
  35. Domain Architect • Mostly maintains the now, but supports planning for the future • Primarily focused on maintain a specific area of technology or a specific application • Owners and gatekeepers for a specific area • The work in this area is primarily concerned with the current state of the system. • Guides designs to meet the overall objectives of the domain. • Knowledge as Subject Matter Expert
  36. Enterprise Architect • The planner • Focuses on cross domain considerations • Long term objectives • Processes and governance • Audience: CIO/CTO, All other Architects • Note: tends to get business direction through CIO/CTO or Domain Architects.
  37. Enterprise Architect • Concentrates on how the various domains or subject areas interact • This layer spends even more time focusing on how technology will be utilized in the future • Governs how it is used today • Create technology roadmaps • This layer views the enterprise as a holistic entity. • Knowledge of “this” Business
  38. Example Roles • Architects do the following ▫ Solve Technical Problems ▫ Communicate the solution ▫ Verify Implementation • Lets look at some examples using these criteria
  39. Application Architect • Problem ▫ How to implement a feature request • Communication ▫ Verbal, POC, Detailed Design Doc • Verification ▫ Code reviews, Story Sign Off • Timeframe ▫ Weeks
  40. Domain Architect • Problem 1. Enable correct usage of current system 2. Manage future business and tech requirements • Communication 1. Current state documentation 2. Plan Technology Roadmap • Verification 1. Architecture reviews 2. Work with Business and IT leadership to ensure roadmap items are in project portfolio • Timeframe ▫ Months
  41. Enterprise Architect • Problem 1. Enable standard internal develop practices 2. Plan for new line of business • Communication 1. Documentation, Presentations, 1:1 2. Work with multiple domain architects • Implementation 1. Architecture reviews, SDLC Processes 2. Coordinate projects in IT Portfolio • Timeframe ▫ Years
  42. Core Skills • Technology ▫ Technical expertise in one or more areas ▫ Manage Stakeholder Requirements ▫ Define Solution to Functional and non-functional requirements ▫ Validate Conformance of the solution to the architecture
  43. Core Skills • People ▫ Understanding People ▫ Collaborating with others ▫ Listening to Understand ▫ Lead Individuals & Teams
  44. Core Skills • Planning ▫ Manage Architectural Elements of an IT Project Plan ▫ Understand Business Aspects ▫ Predicting and Forecasting ▫ Goal Setting
  45. Core Skills • Communication ▫ Presenting ▫ Speaking Technically ▫ Speaking non-technically ▫ Writing ▫ Documenting
  46. Focus by Role
  47. Technical Solution Domain Enterprise Focus Architect Roles Communication Planning People Technology Skills by role
  48. Ensuring Coverage TechnicalDomainEnterprise Business Information Technical ArchitectureRoles Architecture Areas
  49. Closing • One Architect can fill multiple roles and in multiple areas • More than one architect may be needed for one area and role • These are discussion points • Mold them to meet your needs • Understand the needs of your organization • Understand the skills / focus for each role • Take a proactive approach to the profession of IT Architecture
  50. Christopher Grant