Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

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What Would You Like To See…For Free?

August 17, 2010

We are beginning a project to develop freely available online content. But first, we need your opinion on what topics this content should cover. Please take a moment to answer these five quick questions so that we can provide you the information that you need. Click here to go to the survey. Thanks for your input.

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The UML’s Double-Edged Sword

July 9, 2010

The sword is one of the most ubiquitous crafted weapons across civilizations worldwide. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials. An attribute that they all have in common is a sharp edge. Some multiply their offensive capability by being sharpened on both edges, i.e., the double-edged sword. These are more deadly because they can “cut both ways”. Who would have expected that the innocent use case would introduce a double-edged sword into the UML? Read more at DevX.com…

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Come One, Come All!

June 1, 2010

If you’d like to enjoy some fun in the sun AND learn about pragmatic modeling techniques (those two things always go together, right?), then you are in luck. For the 11th year in a row, I have the privilege to be speaking at the IBM Rational Innovate 2010 conference (previously know as the Rational Software Development Conference and the Rational Users Conference).
On Wed. June 9th, 2010 I’ll be presenting “Practical Visual Modeling – Lessons From the Trenches”. Beginning and experienced modelers often wonder why modeling isn’t working well for them. This is because there are many snares and traps to fall into. This presentation, based on lessons learned from real-world projects, approaches visual modeling pragmatically. Visual modeling essentials are discussed augmented with practical, experiential advice, best practices, and heuristics for modelers. Common project failure points, SOA, agility, how to avoid typical modeling pitfalls, and simple risk-based planning techniques are just some of the topics covered.
We will discuss:
• Where the most costly and common project mistakes are made
• What parts of the UML to use and which to ignore
• Business modeling and system modeling via use cases and how to use them
• Avoiding common modeling pitfalls during analysis and design
• Project planning, prioritization, and risk
• Career shortening red flags that indicate when you should get out of Dodge.
• Numerous practical modeling techniques and practices.
So if you are going to be in the Orlando area for the conference, please drop into my session, say hello, sit back, and have some fun!

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Rarely Mentioned Architect Skills – Do You Have Them?

January 12, 2010

The development community spends so much time debating ceaseless questions such as “What is architecture?” and “What is the difference between this and that type of architect?” We should look behind the labels.  Looking at the type of skills an architect has or needs may give real insight as to what type of architect he/she is. 

Take a look at Peter Cripps’ blog on the Attributes of an IT Architect.  Peter lists a number of non-technical skills that are rarely ever mentioned as skills an architect needs.  My particular favorite is #5 Apply Processes Pragmatically

Aside from Peter’s list and the long list of hard technical skills that could be mentioned, what other skills have you found are critical in the role of an Architect? 

–Bob Maksimchuk (www.ProjectPragmatics.com )

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SOA by the Numbers

January 4, 2010

SOA has not ended hunger or achieved world peace (some of the early marketing came close to promising everything) but it has achieved major inroads in software / systems development.  However, its level of “success” still appears to be a bit muddled. 

Loraine Lawson recently posted a pragmatic look (at ITBusinessEdge.com 29 Dec 2009) at statistics gathered in a Forrester report regarding companies’ satisfaction level with their SOA initiatives.

One of the most interesting statistics is that only 24% of the companies surveyed have (or are working on) an enterprise-level SOA strategy.  Hopefully, this is not indicative of the lingering mindset that SOA = web services.  SOA is really a strategic architectural approach to aligning business and IT (and seeing that the report reflects this is quite satisfying).  To achieve that in its fullest requires quite an investment in not only technology (e.g. an altered development process, modeling, choreography, architecture, reuse, business activity monitoring, business process management, re-skilling and so forth) but may also require organizational change – always a difficult adjustment.  This level of commitment is difficult for all but the largest organizations and even then it is a true challenge.

So follow the above link and enjoy Ms. Lawson’s article and the report.

–Bob Maksimchuk (www.ProjectPragmatics.com )