Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Architecture as Jazz?

Gavin Terrill has posted a nice summary of the recent premature scalability conversation in Big Architecture Up Front - A Case of Premature Scalaculation?.

I'm only mildly annoyed at the implication in the title... ;-)

No, not the second part... the first part. :-O

Any serious annoyance on my part is tempered by an acknowledgment that the canonical view of architecture is as a harbinger of large things - the choreographers for A Herd of IT Elephants.

This is truly unfortunate.

Often justified, but unfortunate.

The good news is that the big-bang, top-down approach is marked for death.

Care to hazard a guess as to why?

<longpause />

... because it doesn't scale!

This is not to say that big-bang, top-down is always inappropriate, but it's readily apparent that it tends to create non-negotiable, immutable structures.

Sadly, it will probably take years for Architecture to shed the historical dogma of Big.

The irony of the scaling topic and BAUF is that a considerable amount of my tenure as an architect has been focused on curbing some of the natural tendencies of IT organizations to create big things - big things that inherently resist scaling.

Similar to how building architecture and musical styles shift over time, our Architecture discipline seems to be modulating to a form of minimalism/JIT.

Who know, maybe we'll see a time when admitting to improvisation isn't guaranteed to raise a few eyebrows...

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