My manager asked me a question late last night (he's very sad [:)] ) about infrastructure architects which I came up with my answer for but would like to get feedback on so I thought I would blog about it.
My takeaway from interacting solutions architects at customers is that many are really straddling developer and 'Architect' roles go to architecture meetings but ask to see code.
Is there a similar phenomena on the Infrastructure side? i.e. is there a contingent of infrastructure impelemtors that believe they are 'Architects'?
I know what he means about the solution architects, you just have to go to /. To see people saying "I'll write that CRM architecture in java right now"! I haven't ever come across the same thing in the infrastructure space e.g. "I'll code up that consolidation initiative in script tonight".
So why is that? Are there "architects" like this in the infrastructure space and I haven't come across them? My answer was:
There seem to be two tracks in the infrastructure space, technical and management. The progression in the technical track is:
Although clearly you can enter and leave at any point. People leave the technical track to go into either the developer profession or IT management which has the following progression:
Ops Manager->engineering manger-> it Manager-> Infra architect
Whilst people move from the tech track to the management track all the way through, probably the majority go from design to IT manager. The "top" level of the technical track, scripting guys, do not aspire to be architects or think of themselves as architects unlike the developers in the application space.
Additionally most people doing Infrastructure architecture actually have IT manager titles so associate more with the management side of things than with technology.
So am I way off base on this?