Chapter 2. The Evolutionary Architect

As we have seen so far, microservices give us a lot of choice, and accordingly a lot of decisions to make. For example, how many different technologies should we use, should we let different teams use different programming idioms, and should we split or merge a service? How do we go about making these decisions? With the faster pace of change, and the more fluid environment that these architectures allow, the role of the architect also has to change. In this chapter, I’ll take a fairly opinionated view of what the role of an architect is, and hopefully launch one final assault on the ivory tower.

Inaccurate Comparisons

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Inigo Montoya, from The Princess Bride

Architects have an important job. They are in charge of making sure we have a joined-up technical vision, one that should help us deliver the system our customers need. In some places, they may only have to work with one team, in which case the role of the architect and technical lead is often the same. In others, they may be defining the vision for an entire program of work, coordinating with multiple teams across the world, or perhaps even an entire organization. At whatever level they operate, the role is a tricky one to pin down, and despite it often being the obvious career progression for developers in enterprise organizations, it is also a role that gets more criticism than virtually any other. More than ...

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