Saturday, 19 July 2014

Ivory Towers and the art of over engineering for money

I have a confession to make. I have been working as a software/solution/technical architect as part of a large architecture team in an Ivory Tower for over 6 months. I actually have been doing this job for 2 years but for the first 18 months I refused to move to the ivory tower, instead I sat with delivery and spent most of my time working closely with the developers helping them deliver scalable and resilient solutions.

I was finally forced to move to the Ivory Tower and this is what I have gleamed from my time there.

Having worked closely with development means I am a heretic, a sell out, a snitch.
The Ivory Tower looks down at my methods as flawed.

How dare I build a solution and see it through to production?
How dare I ensure I make a success of the projects I am involved with?
How dare I discuss design with the poor sods who actually have to build the thing?
How dare I use my development skills to build bridges with the developers?
How dare I question the miracle workers that are DROOLS and jBPM?
How dare I question the wonders of the ESB and SOA?
How dare I take into account ROI or understand the skills sets available?
How dare I suggest simple effective solutions?

These are evil traits and must be banished forever. They are sloth, base, tainted, real world and vulgar, they are a hinderance to the perfect design and simply have no place in the Ivory Tower. Inside the Ivory Tower delivering software is not important, instead endless talking about the perfect solution is king. The more talking the Ivory Tower does, the more clever it will sound, the more money it will earn and the more power it will have. In fact the length of time it takes to finish the design is important. The longer the time the more amazing the Ivory Tower must be and the more miracles it will provide. All hail the Ivory Tower.

The Ivory Tower encourages ignoring common sense, quite simply the more over the top the design the better. Who cares if it can be built or not, that is irrelevant. The Ivory Tower knows it can easily blame everyone else for not following their design or not being clever enough to make it work. Accountability is nowhere to be seen.

The Ivory Tower can never be wrong or even seen to be wrong. Even if the evidence is damning it will stick to its guns, argue and argue some more until they back down. It will invest a lot of time playing politics, winning at all costs and asserting its authority. Never admit you are wrong that is weakness.

All hail the Ivory Tower
All hail the Ivory Tower
All hail the Ivory Tower

The Ivory Tower doesn't need developers, it doesn't need testers, it doesn't need hardware or even customers. Give the Ivory Tower a white board, access to powerpoint and a meeting room at the end of the universe and they will talk forever. Happy in the knowledge they are always right.

Beware the Ivory Tower
It will destroy your soul