About a month ago, my wife and I attended a performance of Hamilton in San Francisco.
And afterward, as I was sitting in the car, I realized that there was a story I wanted to tell in defense of software architecture.
More precisely a story that was a defense of the kind of software architecture I do. Because it’s a kind of software architecture that is extraordinarily valuable, and extremely undervalued: strategic software architecture. What strategic software architecture is and is not will be something this set of essays will attempt to define, describe, characterize and explain. In a nutshell, the central thesis is that for any business the strategic 5 -7-year question of how to marshall people and technology and product to deliver outsized business results is actually a software architecture problem that tries to impose structure and chaos on a fluid situation while providing flexibility in the choice of tactics.
A mouthful indeed.
And in honor of Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers, I decided to write a series of Essays titled the architecturalist papers, a pompous homage to the Federalist papers, that tried to explain and defend strategic software architecture.
The struggle I faced in putting the finger to keyboard, was the daunting task of doing research. After all, shouldn’t I do some survey of the state of the, and show where my thoughts fit into the general understanding of software?
Thankfully, a friend of mine remarked that many researchers in her field are not empiricists. And first I had to look up the word empiricist and discovered that it meant
a person who supports the theory that all knowledge is based on experience derived from the senses.
And it became apparent, that I had a lot of experience in this space, and there was a lot of knowledge to be derived, and some more abstract thinkers could figure out general models that were more valuable.
What clinched the deal, was another exchange with my wife about common sense. Common sense, I had read somewhere was defined as the set of accumulated wisdom from experience. When we say someone lacks common sense, what we mean is they lack the accumulated experience or don’t have access to that experience and make poor decisions.
This set of essays is an attempt to share my collected set of experiences and will allow others and myself to derive knowledge from the entire experience and hopefully share some common sense ideas that have proven to be very useful over the years.
The next essay will be a survey of what things I have been involved in that forms the basis of my experience.