Architunity® LLC

Architunity® LLC
Presented by Architunity® LLC

2010-09-28

Before We Begin the Journey

My journey to JavaOne was fantastic. My wife and I spent the weekend prior in Napa Valley enjoying fine wine together. Unfortunately, I was diverted before its end to a troubled project in Dallas. Journeys are part of life, some happier than others.

We look pretty happy at JavaOne. With me are Ryan Carpenter, Deloitte's manager of the Framework Architecture Solution and Tools for Java (FAST4J), and Sridhar Sudarsan, IBM's JEE Batch Architect. I know nothing about the women; that's my story and I'm sticking to it. We are all the future of Java, amongst so many other things. And we get to that future by traversing our personal and professional expeditions.

Some people collect rocks, ash trays, or pictures when they vacation. I pick up patterns, things that work for me and others. When I worked at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), I modeled hail storms on a CRAY XMP supercomputer. The algorithms were full of mathematical representation of convection storm patterns. The universe can be described by fractal patterns as mapped by surveys, like Slone, 2dF, and WISE. Flight paths of neutrons may seem random, but nuclear power plant designs depend upon their behavior following well established patterns.

Our journey to automation architecture best practices begins with discovery of what works, expressed as patterns. Observing what is in common along with the variables, repetition and uniqueness, abstractions and details of what is concrete, all contribute to finding the points of reference along the path. Navigating to our destination requires us to recognize landmarks while traveling. And we of course must also learn along the way, picking up cues and clues. On a hunting trip, you may require a guide that knows how to track animals and identify hungry ones before they consume you. A caddy on the golf course carries the clubs, but may also recommend wood when you pull out an iron. Consider me that guy and ABoK™ the manual. You're in charge of packing a pachyderm or hitting a birdie. Make the trip a success.

We travel with a map to the pyramids and a construction design to build new glass ones. I'm not setting you up for a scheme; rather equipping you with a schematic. The ABoK™ is built upon a foundation of governance processes that enable products to be developed, delivered, and managed through change. Principles drive how products are developed and used. Then patterns are applied to organize technology into its structural and dynamic characteristics. The technology catalog is a taxonomy for service areas, services, and their components by which standards may be applied and products selected. Now think of a store with products on its shelves. As a shopper, you have many choices, but find it cost prohibitive to buy everything. You are hungry and know breakfast, lunch, and dinner come every day. So you assemble food groups (ironically once arranged in a pyramid by the US government) in a shopping basket, ingredients for life. You may have even planned your grocery store trip with a list derived from recipe solutions to your mealtime needs. Likewise, elements of the technology catalog are arranged into dynamic automated solutions to address domain problems and/or opportunities.

With robust governance processes to help us plan and navigate the unknown, principles to guide our decisions when we hit forks in the road, a technology catalog as the legend, and a solution roadmap full of patterns we can reuse to get there, our journey will surely be a happy one. And when we're called out of conference to solve tough project issues, we will be equipped with what it takes to make others' journey equally fun. Line up to the track; my pistol is drawn. On your mark, get set, ...


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