Working in a creative environment for a software company has taught me more than I’ve realized. I’m to the point now where hearing one technology term or phrase triggers my knowledge of a related term or phrase, followed by that lovely ‘aha’ moment, making me even more thankful to be in a position to work and grow as a creative in a tech-space.
I’ve also learned a lot about you -- enterprise architects and engineers. I’ve discovered that you know exactly what you want and will accept nothing less until you get it -- it being information. To me, a movie lover, IT architects are to enterprises as Batman is to Gotham -- you do a lot of great things, but many people are unaware of your impact because you make it so they don't have to be. The reason I’ve been so lucky to learn about enterprise architecture over the last few months can only be attributed to one thing: reading.
However, this post isn’t about what I’ve learned about event-driven architectures, DevOps, architecture patterns, or cloud-native practices. It’s about the importance of sharing what it is you do -- as a Software Architect or Engineer, or Cloud Architect, or Data Architect, or Site Reliability Engineer -- on a larger scale to reach far more people than you’ve ever imagined; to inspire, inform, and educate.
Here are 3 reasons why I believe enterprise architects should write more about what they do, whether highly technical or opinion-based pieces.
I don’t know about you, but I find it kind of strange that I have to type out several different versions of the same query just to find Information Technology Architect-related information and insight. Maybe you all have secret community forums and organizations that I’m just not aware of, but I personally think it would be nice to be able to type a question, solely focused on enterprise architecture, into Google, and just as many links come up for that particular topic as they do for architects of physical structures.
To be fair, I have found LinkedIn and Medium to be great homes for EA resources and collaboration. But, while some topics are easier to dig up than others, when I want to find out more about a specific IT architect role, or where Enterprise Architects go to hangout and chat about their day jobs, it takes quite a bit of investigating to find. It would be nice to know of one or two places where I could read more about what’s trending in system architecture these days.
Improved understanding of the Enterprise Architect and what they enjoy
That old saying that goes “help me, help you” is how I always approach every conversation with an Enterprise Architect. When I interact with IT architects I always like to make it clear that the intention behind my discussion with them is to listen, understand, and share. Often I run into people who have a lot to say about what they do and what they’re passionate about, but are unsure of how to approach it from a literary standpoint. While I am more than happy to help that person record their thoughts in a fluid manner, no one can tell your story better than you can, and you wouldn’t want someone else telling your story. They might tell it wrong.
Technical writing, for instance, is a crucial part of an engineer’s career. A well-written standard operating procedure (SOP) can act as a key form of communication between an Engineer and an employee who is unsure of how to execute a particular process.
Beyond the realm of technical writing, simply sharing a breakthrough you experienced while tackling a problem that may be common in EA could help another IT architect solve an issue. I once interviewed a Solutions Architect who used my write-up of our discussion to aid in a big promotion he had been working hard for. A few months after it published, he messaged me and shared that the article inspired a young, aspiring architect to seek guidance from him on his own career path.
Words do hold a lot of power. Even more, sharing your work on a digital platform gives it access to greater visibility. Here at Enable Architect, it’s our goal to guide an author -- new or a veteran to writing -- throughout the entire editorial process. When you generate more of the content you want to see the easier it becomes to bounce ideas around with peers, and inform people outside of the EA community about how your designs and frameworks have helped shape organizations and impact lives.
Your work is valued
In my time here at Red Hat, I’ve spoken with Application Architects, Senior Software Engineers, Enterprise Architects, Chief Architects, Solutions Architects, and many, many more IT professionals. I’ve read their words. I’ve heard their passions. I’ve immersed myself in the world of EA as intimately as I would in a good book. I can’t smell the sweet dusty smell of the paper, or feel the sharp crisp edges of the page as I excitedly flip through to my heart’s content, but that familiar sense of enrichment is still very much there.
I’ve probably learned more about life and technology here at work than I have in my four years of college. I say this because I had no idea the degree to which technology was so embedded in my life, even as I used different kinds of hardware and software to complete countless amounts of academic projects and assignments. Had I known what Node.js was, or that I could teach myself how to run Linux on my old, dinosaur laptop, I probably could be writing academic papers right now. But instead I landed in marketing, and I have absolutely no complaints with that at all. Why? I have the rare opportunity to dive into a world of highly complex system design concepts and tools (something I’d otherwise have little to no exposure to) while, at the same time researching about, and networking with the incredible game-changers -- I mean, Architects -- behind them.
Let us know in the poll above if you’ve ever published your work before.