I noticed the book has a section about architects and the sub-heading "Architects Who Write Code." Can you give a summary of what this section is about? I'm hoping that your recommendation is that architects should code, at least enough to know how their visions are actually being realized in code. I know a group from one company I worked for that required their architects to code and that resulted in all kinds of Good Things™.
I know there are many pros to it but are there any cons about architects coding that you can point out? What other things should architects in agile organizations do that they don't normally aren't expected to do in more traditional organizations?
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Hi! Yes, you are right, we are advocating "architects who code." In our experiences, we've too often seen the "PowerPoint architect" who has a great ability to create architectural visions and lovely-looking diagrams, but doesn't have any appreciation for what developers really need, nor what is practical. Then these "visions" get crammed down people's throats and we have a mess. CORBA, data warehouses, SOA - there are so many examples of misusing these technologies in a "too big" way.
However, architects who *can* code and who also *do* code, in guest spots on teams, etc. are really valuable. Now you have someone who has a bigger picture view, but who also has to live with their own decisions in the depths of the code. Even better, limit the number of enterprise architects in the company and allow the teams to make decisions together about standards and architectures, etc.
I think that, not matter of Agile or any old-fashion development process, Architecs should know how to code. The better they know the pipes and tools of everyday developers, the better architectures, standards and leadership the architect will develop.
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