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I just got back from an Austin .Net User Group meeting, and instead of a presentation, we had a group discussion on architecture. We discussed what architecture is, how specific it should be, whether a separate architecture team works, etc. We saw some react violently against past experiences with bad architects and other voice the strong need for an architect to provide leadership and technical guidance to a development team.
The discussion turned to business with architectural decisions like how “safe” to be with redundant systems and graceful failover. More ROI decisions. Elaine Krause pulled the discussion back to development, and we talked a bit about buy vs. build decisions like using tools such as CodeSmith, NetTiers, CSLA, and NHibernate. I couldn’t resist giving a plug that I teach NHibernate in my Agile Boot Camp course.
Overall, we really didn’t get to a definition of “architecture”. What else is new. Other forums have tackled the subject and have only been able to give it a rough definition. The software context of architecture makes it different in each scenario.
If you were there and want to be listed, get a blog, and send me the link.