James Governor's Monkchips

Enterprise Architecture Antidisestablishmentarianism

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On Friday morning I had 30 minutes to introduce the case study track at QCON. I figured jumping off from Martin Fowler’s keynote the previous night made sense. Martin had talked about the need for a bridge to span the Yawning Crevasse Between IT and the Business. I tried to argue for a bridge to span the yawning crevasse between the traditional enterprise architecture and more web/lightweight approaches. Both sides could learn from one another if we had better “stories” (in the agile sense) to underpin what we might mean by “scale” for example.

At the end of my talk it looked like I had failed to make my case. The first question was actually an assertion- that the guy in question didn’t see the same tension at work at his clients. In fact, he argued, Enterprise Architecture was the bad guy, creating pointless “standards” that got in the way of service delivery. Doh! And there was me thinking I had embedded some of that line of thinking into my speech. Apparently not-it must have been my claim that two-phase commit could serve a useful purpose. I felt like was standing there with just a fig leaf covering my modesty, looking like a representative of the “bad guys”. Of course at QCON many of the delegates are architects, but as someone said later “we just don’t call ourselves that“.

It can certainly be tricky arguing for a bridge between communities, for disestablishmentarianism and I will make sure I give more love to the lightweight in future when I try and span the crevasse. I can’t assume anyone after all that knows my work. It was an interesting learning experience. I maintain however that its absurd to defenestrate all enterprise architecture thinking.

Q: China has 8m people on staff and its own university. Does that “beat” web scale?
A: Its a false opposition.


  1. what is “defenestration.” ?? :)-

  2. I added a link to a definition of defenestrate.

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