To be an architect, you’ll have to be a leader. And, to be a leader, you’ll have to be able to understand people and create an influence on them. So, focusing on the people involved with a system is a pre-requisite for designing systems that delight them.
Photo credits to Alan O’Rourke
For this topic, I want you to read and internalize the ideas from the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Honestly, it’s a fun read for anyone, not just for the aspiring architect. But an architect must be able to listen with empathy and clearly share her ideas. She needs to truly appreciate diverse opinion because it’s common that a delightful system can be designed in many ways, and she’s likely to have her blind spots. Moreover, she needs exceptional conflict-resolution skills to create a safe space so the best ideas win irrespective of where it comes from.
I know some of you may be getting impatient because you want to learn hardcore software architecture and I’m not talking anything technical yet. If you can hold your patience and bear with me, we’ll get there soon enough. I have what I think an exciting curriculum where I’ll be teaching hardcore software design topics using many well-known open-source products. My goal is to set you up for success as an architect, and these softcore topics are of the highest priority in my curriculum. The small number of great architects I’ve enjoyed working with have won me over by their people skills. All the other architects may have been technically genius, but lacked people skills to appreciate the essence of a delightful system, let alone designing one.