Becoming an architect takes time and effort, but based on the many reasons we’ve outlined throughout this book, managing a career path after becoming an architect is equally tricky. While we can’t chart a specific career path for you, we can point you to some practices that we have seen work well.
Architect must continue to learn throughout their career. The technology world changes at a dizzying pace. One of Neal’s former co-workers was a world-renowned expert in the Clipper. He lamented that he couldn’t take the enormous body of (now useless) Clipper knowledge and replace it with something else. He also speculated (and this is still an open question): has any group in history learned and thrown away so much detailed knowledge within their lifetimes as software developers?
Each architect should keep an eye out for relevant resources, both technology and business, and add them to their personal stockpile. Unfortunately resources come and go all too quickly, which is why we don’t list any in this book. Talking to colleagues or experts about what resources they use to keep current is one good way of seeking out the latest newsfeeds, websites, and groups that are active in a particular area of interest. Architects should also build into their day some time to maintain breadth utilizing those resources.
As illustrated in Figure 2-7, technology breadth is more important to architects than depth. However, maintaining breadth takes ...