I want me a mentor...
A friend-of-a-friend has a very interesting observation. He says he’s got an awful lot more people interested in both being mentored as well as having his input as an architectural design consultant / overseer / adviser.
I need more practice with code. Simply said, I need more projects to get a better understanding of what I’m doing. I’m getting tired of spending an hour to solve a problem that could have been done in five minutes.
The problem is that somehow you have to get over that hump. A mentor is a great way of getting you past the speed bump.
Let me mix in the notion of John advising with architectural design. Some code slinger gets all hopped up on the coolness at his fingertips and forgets the foundation he has to build upon. It’s hard to not get distracted by the shiny and to go back to the basics as I was taught. The art of architecture is to blend the coolness with a solid foundation and bring the best of both worlds together.
Me? I’m a back-to-the-basics guy. For better or for worse, OO is something a ghost says at Halloween. Let me at the tables and I’ll build my own SQL by hand. Forget any system-generated crap code. It takes longer, but it’s solid and reliable, right?
No. Wrong, sometimes you need the quick and dirty fix. Or the generated code that keeps track of all the damned flags you need set these days.
“Balance in all things.“ It’s my life’s mantra.
A great architect will find the balance. A great architect has the experience to find which parts fit, what tools are applicable, which foundations must be developed. Performance, extensibility, scalabiity and maintainability have to be considered at the start of development as well as at the end of development with final testing.
Should I become a great in my field, I have a narrow band to learn than a general coder. But I clearly must learn, and by learning I must experience, practice and develop.
The demand for good architects doesn’t happen by chance. One good architect can save countless hours of time and significant amounts of money. One good architect improves the skills of all those with which he works. To be mentored by a great architect is a sure path to becoming another great architect.
I’ve got a ragtag band of skills. I have solid belief in the underlying principles. I’ve got a lot of really good friends who know a lot more than I ever will. This can only lead to becoming better at what I do.