Where Should Architects Be Focused as the Hype Cycle Goes Crazy?

By Paul Preiss, od Iasa Global

As I’ve heard from many a member, I’m getting a bit annoyed with the media attention to AI. If they were to be believed, I would be speaking with my personal assistant robot about what day to teleport to my mother’s kitchen in Colorado after Christmas here in the Netherlands while having it prepare for the perfect set of holiday gifts and finishing up the documents I want to write before then. It would also be reading all of the information I needed to be aware of and transmitting them directly into my long-term memory via Elon’s latest brain implant. Which would be surperflous because the Iasa AI would have already responded on my behalf to any activities needing my personal attention. Which would in turn be responded to by our partners AI’s leaving us all free to just focus on the holidays! Yaay!

Oh damn except in that world, there would also be no money, no architects and no need for holidays because we dont work anymore. Nor is creativity absolutely necessary since the AI has a sample of my singing voice, my writing style and my history of thought. So let them create!

So what is an architect doing this christmas? Outside of the huge amount of work involved in planning anything, I will be studying and scheduling and scheming.PaulTPreiss

Where should architects be focused as the hype cycle goes crazy?

On real outcomes as always. For example, I recently did a coding excercise with generative coding and it was satisfying in a way, but also highly difficult, imprecise and utterly less sexy than any marketing I have seen. I liked the code complete, I enjoyed the unit testing and the code explanations (especially because my python is so rust-y :-)) but in the end it really only got me about 25% gain with a massive shive in productivity loss (time spent trying to use AI instead of my usual development workflow).

I have been trying to get decent copy for Iasa marketing posts including graphics and some automation behind that. What has come out sounds as pitiful as what I complain about with marketers… like someone took some positivity crack and then started describing technologies. (I always feel like I need a shower after a ChatGPT chat session). Im going to keep playing with this… But I fear it has consumed so much marketing material that it will forever sound like a Kerby vacuum cleaner salesperson who got hired by Oracle and told to move some volume to the cloud. Ickk.

But anyway we are setting up a set of communities to help architects with the following!

AI Usage and Learning

The AI community will navigate the world of hype. They will invite the thinkers, the leaders, and look for the real story behind how AI can benefit and damage your work.

Expect the first area of definition to be an overview of AI and Architecture and it’s general business case in primary business capabilities and technology strategy.

Security Architecture

Wayne Andersen is the chair of our security architecture practice. We are very excited to be launching the security architecture learning and certification pathway. This in addition to the body of knowledge components we are publishing shoud go a long way to bringing security fully in the fold of architecture practice.

Physical Systems Architecture

You may have seen my article on complex systems. That was a bit of a misnomer as complexity itself is a topic in the BTABoK and for architects of every type. We are working with a number of thought leaders like John Stough. This is a rediculously important right now in OT/IT integration, IoT, Robotics, Infrastructure (roads, elec, etc) and Defense spaces.

Integration Architecture

Integration is in a state of massive flux. Primary marketing has been microservices hype for a long time and we are hearing major changes in that thinking but nothing stands out as the next wave. This is excellent news and a great time to start working a more holistic pattern/style based approach to integration. Brice Ominski has co-developed an integration architecture approach and the beginnings of community… Im very excited about this space right now personally and will be doing a number of ongoing development prototypes for our software architecture curriculum through the holidays… should I write about what I find?

Cloud Architecture

Under the leadership of Allen Stewart, the chair of our CITA-Distinguished community and Stephen Kaufman, we are finally building out our cloud body of knowledge! Ughh it has taken a while but the hype around the cloud has been fever-pitched for years. Finally some coherent thought leadership has emerged. Cannot wait to see what this brings (like the fact that cloud native and multi-cloud are sooo utterly difficult to deliver). Hoping to see a good number of partnerships in this space.

Career Path and Competencies

2024 is going to be when we revisit the BTABoK competencies and career path. For 15 years the competency model has been the greatest in the industry (yes I stand behind that) as measured by a) breadth and depth of coverage, b) appropriate support for career path, c) support for hiring and growth of staff, d) ability to verify architect credentials and e) industry support. We are growing that by leaps and bounds. Looking for contributors and leaders in this space.

As always beware the hype! 1) avoid trade rags, 2) focus on stable long-lasting practice, 3) kick the marketers out of the conversation, 4) focus on outcomes not trends.