November 4, 2017
Accidental Architect article
As an O’Reilly author, I end up on all sorts of O’Reilly mailing lists. Most of the included topics are quite technical (obvs) but one caught my eye the other day that was related to a business concept that I have been trying to articulate lately.
The O’Reilly article is about a software developer becoming an “accidental architect”. I love this characterization because it succinctly captures something that I have experienced, both personally and with students. As they mature, some - but not all - developers reach a point where:
- They find that learning the flavor-of-the-month framework bores them
- They start to get less dogmatic about the “right way” to do things and recognize that very little is black and white
- They start to insist on doing discovery before making recommendations
You should give it a read if you’ve found yourself becoming more nuanced in your advice to clients. The author proves a really helpful framework for thinking about the difference between depth and breadth of technical expertise (look for the pyramid diagrams in the article)
My take on this is that elevating the nature of your interaction with your clients is a good way to increase your profits (and theirs). Becoming an architect is one way to elevate your value, but there are plenty of other ways.
I did a talk on this called the Altitude of Involvement, in which I provide a matrix that you can use to map where you currently are, and chart a path to where you think you want to go.
Here’s a link:
Altitude of Involvement
P.S. My private mentoring program is almost sold out. When the last spot goes, I’m going to raise the price by $1,000. If you’ve been thinking about joining me, now is the time: https://jonathanstark.com/mentoring