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An architect is not an evangelist

A trap I easily fall in to as an architect is that I can be become quite enthusiastic about a specific technology. If you are a long time reader of my blog, you certainly have seen me write about specific tools, techniques and products over the years.

Unfortunately this enthusiasm got me into trouble a few times as an architect. Because I have an important stake into a project and some influential power it happened that I started spreading this enthusiasm and influenced the team to join my enthusiasm. Sorry team!

But this means that I was no longer doing my job as an architect. Instead of seeing the trade-offs ; I fell in love with the good parts and turned blind for the bad parts. Although I know better and that I should  be wary of any tool or technique that promises to make everything better, I couldn’t resist.

It's a trap that many architects fall into: becoming so enamored with the positive aspects of a technology that they overlook its shortcomings. In doing so, we neglect our primary duty as architects – to carefully consider the trade-offs inherent in any decision. Instead of objectively evaluating options, we become enamored with the promises of a new tool or technique, ignoring the potential pitfalls


Of course, it's essential to leverage our existing knowledge and draw upon lessons learned from past experiences. However, we must also remain vigilant, continually reassessing our decisions within the specific context of each project. What worked well in one scenario may not necessarily be the best choice for another.

As architects, we must strike a delicate balance between innovation and pragmatism. While it's natural to be drawn to the allure of new technologies, we must temper our enthusiasm with a critical eye. By acknowledging the trade-offs and evaluating options thoughtfully, we can ensure that our decisions align with the needs and objectives of the project at hand.

I conclude with a quote from the Software Architecture – The hard parts book:

An architect adds real value to an organization not by chasing silver bullet after silver bullet but rather by honing their skills at analyzing the trade-offs as they appear.


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