In his SD Times’ article Why Some Developers Are Hurting SOA David S. Linthicum is discussing some of aspects of mutual relationship between Developers and Software Architecture.

…hard truth is that most developers don’t think about architecture, but focus more on the latest tools, languages and platforms. They are more concerned about how things are built, versus why they are built, or, more importantly, how software systems work and play well with other systems. That thought pattern needs to come to a quick end

Is it really? Being a developer for over 15 years and being a Product Manager/Architect for almost half of this time, I can see from both sides.

Are developers so reluctant about architecture or they are not allowed to think about it in majority of the cases?

Let’s step back a little, as it was discussed in the “Evolution of the programmer” there are several types of programmers, as there would be a few different one for the Product Managers (we still need to define who is the manager nowa days) and above and “focusing on the architecture” could be off on developer’s level as often as it is on management to be fair.

But when it comes to expressing Developer’s thoughts about an architecture of the software it is really comes to the point when he/she has to decide to do so… and major role here would be played by the management position on what wanted to be heard from lower in chain. It comes to prior experience of communicating such subjects.

Conclusion? Do not blame developers for what they are not. Do you want them participate in thinking about architecture? Invite them! You might be amazed what gold mine of ideas you might discover.

PS. Be ready for the ideas, and keep in mind that they might contradict your genius architecture design. Be open minded.


Xepol · Feb 14, 2008 at 13:15

Let’s be honest. Even if you are interested in SOA, the sales pitch of “We’d like to use code we have no control over, running on a service we have no controller over, only available over a connection that isn’t 100% reliable and comes with no assurance it will be there tommorow and no recourse if it isn’t in a mission critical role” is a damn tough sell.

Show me the manager or client that will say ‘sign me up for that’.

SOA is a fundamentally flawed concept that only grew based on is “coolness” factor. Cool tho it might be, building your code based upon it is too much like building a house on sand. If you need the house to be there tommorow, chances are you aren’t going to run the risk.

Serge Dosyukov · Feb 14, 2008 at 13:35

There is truth in your saying. But opposite perception about SOA is as valid.
It all comes to implementation of the abstract idea and how much of it is taken in the proposed architecture.
SOA gives you an abstract concept with almost no specific boundaries defined per se. Now, how it fits your product concept/architecture, it is a different story.

Also, please notice that we are not discussing a validity of the SOA model but rather acceptance of such by both parties – developers and managers.
David’s point was that Developers do not want to accept/consider SOA model when Managers do (for what ever reasons applicable).

My point was that acceptance of the SOA is nothing to do with developers therefore they have no way of “hurting” it more then anyone else.

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