Experience, Flexibility and Learning

I loved this blog post title Experience should guide, not constrain. Basically the point of the post was a recasting of the old cliche about ‘when all you have is a hammer everything starts to look like a nail’.

What the post really made be think about was the importance of having a breadth of experience in technology as well as depth in a few areas, especially if you are (or aspire to be) an enterprise architect. I personally have been lucky enough to work as a software developer, database administrator, network engineer, project manager and tech lead over my 20+ year career. I feel that each of these has helped me as an architect to bring all of that experience to bear on current issues and plans. Consider trade offs and side effects.

The converse of this is the puzzling phenomenon I have seen where people who only know Microsoft technologies declare themselves to be ‘enterprise architects’ when in fact they are little more than one-note technologist. This is particularly laughable in enterprises that aren’t 100% MS technology. These EAs probably only have about 5% of the picture — have they lost track of what the ‘enterprise’ really is. So it is no wonder that the way they ‘fix’ a problem is by insisting that it move onto the MS platform (which is my experience is usually the wrong answer).

So in technology as in life, grow what you know, keep learning and try new things.

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