17 December 2011

Keeping it in one’s head

A friend of mine recommended this text on why programmers work at night. Entertaining but still true.

But the blog post referenced  another interesting text written by Paul Graham about the necessity of holding a program in one’s head to be an outstanding programmer. I couldn’t agree more with that he says. I also agree with the corollaries that it is detrimental to treat developers as interchangeable parts in an organisation.

But what got me thinking was the fact that an architect must keep an entire system in the head. Where the programmer has the code as something tangible to base this mental model upon the architect has at best an abstract model and at worst only her own internal representation.
So for an architecture to be successful it both seems to be necessary that there is somebody who has the ability to internalise and reason about an entire system, and that the mental representation is possible to grasp in it’s entirety with (at least) one single mind. There are probably a lot of systems out there that fulfils neither….


Ulf Eliasson said...

A fiend of you? I hope he or she doesn't read this ;)

Ulrik said...