I’m still uncomfortable with job titles such as architect used in software-related contexts. Nonetheless, it is difficult to ignore the fact that this title is used and adopted with apparently increasing enthusiasm.
So what do I think an architect does? Or, perhaps better, how do I think someone having the architect job title could provide value to the people she works with?
An architect attends to the architecture.
A little longer:
A system’s architect attends to folks’ needs by fostering the shared understanding of this system’s purpose, context, function, form, structure and characteristics.
How do you do that? Well, it depends…mostly on folks’ needs.
For those who’d rather be something than do something: An architect is an attendant to the architecture.
2013-11-30: Added form, made function singular.
2013-11-08: Added characteristics to definition.