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Working as architects?

Tonny Tssagovic
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 30, 2003
Posts: 226
Hello ranchers,
I wanted to ask SCEAs about their exp.
1) What is the average exp. that ranchers do have before taking the SCEA?
2) If you have a formal IT education, what is the most usefull course you had, that you think helped u doing ur job?
3) What is the best Architecture/design book you have ever read?
4) Do you really learn a lot after the first, say 1-2 years of j2ee experiance in case you read all the patterns books (all look the same anyway) and you mainly design web apps. and thus "always the same story"
5) PLEASE tell us about your experiances, the best architecture you have ever made, and how may design patters you usually use per project (4 or less, 4-12, more then 12)
6) A project failure exp. due to bad acrchitecture It does not have to be urs just some arch. u have seen (and maybe had to refactor)
THANKS YOU VERY MUCH
Thomas Hofmann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 23, 2002
Posts: 72
Hi,
here are my exp.
1) What is the average exp. that ranchers do have before taking the SCEA?
I have worked 9 years as an IT professional before I started SCEA in the fall of 2002 ( I passed it in the spring of 2003).
2) If you have a formal IT education, what is the most usefull course you had, that you think helped u doing ur job?
Software Engineering, but also coding!!
3) What is the best Architecture/design book you have ever read?
There a quite a lot! To mention a few: "Applying UML and Patterns" by Craig Larman, "Software Architecture in Practice" by Bass et.al., "Pattern Oriented Software Architecture 1+2" by Bushmann et al, "Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture" by M. Fowler
4) Do you really learn a lot after the first, say 1-2 years of j2ee experiance in case you read all the patterns books (all look the same anyway) and you mainly design web apps. and thus "always the same story"
YES, but I learnt the most by doing and trying what I read - CODING!

5) PLEASE tell us about your experiances, the best architecture you have ever made, and how may design patters you usually use per project (4 or less, 4-12, more then 12)
I use J2ee since 1998 already. There were several good architectures. The patterns used vary from project to project: 4-12 patterns

6) A project failure exp. due to bad acrchitecture It does not have to be urs just some arch. u have seen (and maybe had to refactor)
Not yet. The projects that failed, failed due to weak project management and wrong process (waterfall!!!). I recommend to use iterative processes.
Thomas
Tonny Tssagovic
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 30, 2003
Posts: 226
Thanks a lot Thomas,
That really gives me an idea, but it seems you are too qualified for the exam Any other experiances? Come on guys, it will just take u 2 mins. Ok then I mightt add this questions:
6) Assuming you estimate the time by No of Code lines (ok, I know this is not the best thingy to do, and it really depend on the nature of the project) in ur exp. What is generally required for 1 kolc ? 1 man month? 2 ?
7) What is the average project in terms of Kilo Lines of Code and man months, and what is the best Team size in ur exp.? How much time is spent (in general) on docs, in such a project.
Thanks again!
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11279
    
  59

Hi Tonny,
  • What is the average exp. that ranchers do have before taking the SCEA?
    Over 15 years in IT (I refuse to count higher)
  • If you have a formal IT education, what is the most usefull course you had, that you think helped u doing ur job?
    No formal IT education.
  • What is the best Architecture/design book you have ever read?
    I don't know that I can really answer this. There are no books that I would tell an aspiring architect that they "must have" it. There are some books that I would tell an aspiring SCEA that it would be good for them, or some books that someone who is (for example) weak in patterns in Java might find useful. But no books that are a "must" for the bookshelf.
  • Do you really learn a lot after the first, say 1-2 years of j2ee experiance in case you read all the patterns books (all look the same anyway) and you mainly design web apps. and thus "always the same story"
    I agree with Thomas - I learn by doing the work, not by reading about it.
  • PLEASE tell us about your experiances, the best architecture you have ever made, and how may design patters you usually use per project (4 or less, 4-12, more then 12)
    I rarely think about how many patterns I use, or whether a particular pattern is being used, or how many lines of code were written. In many ways, I think the software industry has been set back by managers who do not understand software, so they have developed these "metrics" to measure their employee's performance. But then these numbers don't mean anything, and a brilliant programmer who develops a simple easy to read class that does it's job in 50 lines of code is "seen" to be not as good as the junior programmer who cobbles something together in 200 lines of code? :roll:
  • A project failure exp. due to bad acrchitecture It does not have to be urs just some arch. u have seen (and maybe had to refactor)
    Sorry, no comment.
  • Assuming you estimate the time by No of Code lines (ok, I know this is not the best thingy to do, and it really depend on the nature of the project) in ur exp. What is generally required for 1 kolc ? 1 man month? 2 ?
    See my earlier comment about "metrics".
  • What is the average project in terms of Kilo Lines of Code and man months, and what is the best Team size in ur exp.? How much time is spent (in general) on docs, in such a project.
    I have never yet worked on an "average" project. In my experience projects come in all shapes and sizes.
    The team size depends on two things: when the project must be delivered, and how well it can be split amongst different team members. If you can get the job done in 1 month by having 10 programmers working on it, but it is not required for 12 months, management may not appreciate you hiring 9 extra staff. Likewise there is the addage that it takes a woman 9 months to have a baby, but you cannot add 8 women to the project and have the baby in 1 month - there are some jobs that it just doesnt make sense to split up.
    In my opinion, documentation is often an afterthought. I did work on one project where we had a professional documenter who worked on the same projects with about 4 or 5 developers, and the projects and documentation were finished at the same time.


  • Regards, Andrew


    The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 5: paper version from Amazon, PDF from Apress, Online reference: Books 24x7 Personal blog
    Tonny Tssagovic
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 30, 2003
    Posts: 226
    Thanks for your reply Andrew, I appreciate it
    I know that u would not measure projects by code / patterns.. I am not a manager dude.. and I have seen 100's of C code for embedded systems, and always ended up with the best and smallest (20% of CPU time and 10 Memory, and has better features then my class mates and space for more stuff..

    I wanted to have an idea about "real live " projects from J2ee architects, so I asked for no of patterns to check if people really do apply them (well I have applied around 4 patterns in my first java apps, without even knowing they exist) as well as "general" time /resources used for a certain amount of "normal" j2ee code. (I can predict the no of lines of code from the no of classes of some API, and I wanna make a similar API without from scratch.. so wanted to have an idea and use it as input to my estimate alongside with 100 other coefficients/parameters.
    Thanks a lot for your time
    Any other architects that wanna share their knowlwdge?
    k.p thottam
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 77
    1) What is the average exp. that ranchers do have before taking the SCEA?
    7 years
    2) If you have a formal IT education, what is the most usefull course you had, that you think helped u doing ur job?
    I am an electrical engineer
    3) What is the best Architecture/design book you have ever read?
    On general design patterns that developers will benifit : GoF
    The design patterns that are listed in Eric Gamma's book are really good for any programming language .
    At an architecture level the CJ2ee book is specific to J2EE and that environment , the .net side is now also coming out with books that will give you best pratices for their environment meaning , take into account weakness and strengths of each platform that you are architecting on top of !!

    4) Do you really learn a lot after the first, say 1-2 years of j2ee experiance in case you read all the patterns books (all look the same anyway) and you mainly design web apps. and thus "always the same story"
    I would serious stay way from all ,but rather just read the design patterns Gof and then go thro the design patterns for J2EE on sun site
    5) PLEASE tell us about your experiances, the best architecture you have ever made, and how may design patters you usually use per project (4 or less, 4-12, more then 12)
    Review time , I generally shwo how I cut cost by the use design patterns and ensured scalability , usually , going back you would see that any project will have atleast 10 + patterns , because even if you do not knowingly use them they are there !!!
    6) A project failure exp. due to bad acrchitecture It does not have to be urs just some arch. u have seen (and maybe had to refactor)

    Procedural VB projects that after three sets of developers are a total unmanagable mess , since the coding model was bad.


    K.P.Thottam (K.P.T)<br /> <br />Sun Certified Enterprise Architect,TOGAF 8 Certified,Certified Information System security Professional (CISSP),SCJDWS,SCWCD,SCJP,MCP
    Edward Peters
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Aug 28, 2003
    Posts: 8
    1) What is the average exp. that ranchers do have before taking the SCEA?
    7 years (after 4 years of formal IT education)
    2) If you have a formal IT education, what is the most usefull course you had, that you think helped u doing ur job?
    OOD, although a lot has changed since then in this field
    3) What is the best Architecture/design book you have ever read?
    "Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture" by Martin Fowler
    ("Refactoring, Improving the Design of Existing Code" by the same author will make you a better designer)
    4) Do you really learn a lot after the first, say 1-2 years of j2ee experiance in case you read all the patterns books (all look the same anyway) and you mainly design web apps. and thus "always the same story"
    Definitely YES. Although I agree to be very selective, Gang of Four should be your basic knowledge.
    5) PLEASE tell us about your experiances, the best architecture you have ever made, and how may design patters you usually use per project (4 or less, 4-12, more then 12)
    Simple = good, less = more. Use Design Patterns whereever you can, not as often as you can! Good design will produce less code and probably uses less design patterns.
    6) A project failure exp. due to bad acrchitecture It does not have to be urs just some arch. u have seen (and maybe had to refactor)
    I think bad architecture expresses itself mostly not in project failure, but in troublesome maintenance afterwards.
    Tonny Tssagovic
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 30, 2003
    Posts: 226
    Thanks for the reply Guys !
    Woow, 10- 15 -7 years of exp.. No SCEA with less then 3 years in the job
    Thomas Eric
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8
    Hi Tonny,
    It's certainly helpful to have more than three years experience. But it is neither required nor necessary. Experience is useful to SCEA in the same way as money is useful to happiness.
     
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