Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tower of IT Babel

It easy to admonish IT for speaking techno-babble to its customers.

This admonishment is generally deserved, but I submit that it's symptomatic of a much deeper problem. We exhibit the same problem within our IT disciplines - SOA blahblah, SAN fabric blahblah, abstract factory blahblah, delivery management blahblah... (and don't even ponder the acronyms)

There are a variety of reasons for our need to create specialized languages, but the most compelling could the need to compress complicated concepts for efficient internal communications.

By itself, this tendency to compress communications does not create a problem. Combine this with a strong tendency at specialization, however, and you have a recipe for communication problems between disciplines. No surprise here, but it doesn't stop here. Combine this with the need for cross-discipline solutions and you have a recipe for systemic failure.

The languages of our disciplines create barriers to communication even within IT. Our Tower of IT Babel has reached a stunning level - a gravity-defying marvel of modern thought.

Architects, in my opinion, are a critical element in any hope of a solution. We have a critical opportunity to add value by formulating frameworks and models for normalized communication between multi-discipline aggregations of carbon-based message queuing systems!

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