June 30, 2006

Software Architect - Definition

Lots of people have heard of this position/role before and some of them do not know what this position/role does in terms of reponsibilities and their role in the team hierarchy.

I first took on this role in my previous job in a small start-up company when we started to employ lots of developers. At frist, the boss decided to label all of us as Software Engineers, making just two layers of management,

The Bosses
LARGE GROUP of Software Engineers

This was well and good but basically, some of us were doing something completely different from what the Software Engineers were doing. We were primarily involved in the design of software based on some requirements, setting up standards for framework use, coding and development, tools as well as liaising with customer/boss.

The Software Engineers on the other hand, were taking the requirements and design specs, writing and testing the code out and ultimately maintaining the code after the code has been put into production as part of the post-production-support/maintenance process.

It was bad enough that we were labelled as Software Engineers but when we were leading the team, some of the slightly more experienced staff did not warrant us the respect because of the job title we got. Well, one would argue that was their respect expected or earned? That's another war story to talk about. ^_^

Anyway, the primary problem was that the job we were doing was completely different from what the Software Engineers were doing. We sat down with the boss and he thought that the job title didn't matter, but it did because our roles and responsibilites were greater than what the Software Engineer had to do. So, the boss suggested, Team Lead but thats a role and primarily, the Team Lead does something similar to what a Software Engineer did, except that the Team Lead handled additional issues regarding the members of the team and delivery of the product based on requirements accepted.

So, what does the Software Architect do?

Architects as we all know, design structures of space for us to live in. From the architect's drawings, engineers, craftsmans and builders will take the design, physically construct the building. As we know from construction practices, there are many people working on the building, from engineers, foreman to normal workers. The architect will not oversee the actual construction process but more or less with the help of engineers and other technical people, become one of the cogs in the wheel in constructing the building from drawings on a piece of paper.

A Software Architect is similar in this sense as when the application is being developed, the architect has to perform the tasks of being the liaise between the technical team and client, the technologist/evangelist, part mentor, author of many documents and part project manager in helping to manage a team of people to finish a product.

So, in short, you can say that the Software Architect will architect/design a software solution to fulfill a client's requirements. Seems simple but the responsibilties are quite heavy.

I'll get to the details of what skills are required of a Software Architect in my next article after I've digested some interesting articles I've read from books and on the Web. Needless to say, being a Software Architect does not mean having additional knowledge of hardware on top of the software technical skills acquired, as what some people may suggest. -___-

Meanwhile, chew on this link --> Worldwide Institute of Software Architects

June 27, 2006

Being Productive!!

BEING PRODUCTIVE - Two words I find very hard to adhere to. ^_^

My friends call me a workaholic. I don't know if I am, but I know that work keeps me "happy", i.e. if the work is interesting or something which I like to do, then I'll be "happy". I say "happy" because no one is truly "happy" by work alone. You need a balance in life, and somehow, it is hard to find that, especially in our very competitive world today.

Anyway, I digress.

The reason why I talk about being productive is because of what I'm going through these past few days while I'm at home. As some of you may know, I'm in between jobs right now, so, I'm taking a short break before starting off on a new job/company combination. ^_^

Anyway, the word "productive" means
  1. "producing or capable of producing"
  2. "producing abundantly; fertile"
  3. "yielding favourable or useful results; constructive"
So, why this topic? I've been watching my Mom in the morning and she has been very productive. She managed to get most of her chores done before noon. She even managed to get started on dinner too! Compared to her, I'm not as productive, only managed to turn on the PC, check some mail and leave messages on some blogs. -_-"

I feel kind of guilty as I have a big list of things to do and yet, only managed to tick off one thing from my list, i.e. pay bills online. -_-|||

I'm supposed to be doing loads such as clean up my room, keeping my old books from my uni days (nearly a decade old) and put it in storage. ^_^ Besides that I've got to get my passport done too. o_0

That's why, I feel that I've not being productive for the last couple of days. *sigh* I felt that I've squandered the 86,400 minutes alloted for me per day. -__-|||

June 26, 2006

New Blog Additions!

Finally, my blog is setup! ^___^

I've added the following parts to my blog,
  • Categories!!! --> I'll blog about how I set this up, basically, it's a manual process.
  • A new Chatbox Area
Anyway, I have a few ideas to add more stuff to this blog but as of yet, I'm very distracted today as my father wants to use my notebook. -___-

I'll be adding new stuff to my blog later this week.

June 23, 2006

New Template!!!


My new template is here!! ^_^ **PHEEEWWWW**

Things left to do
  1. Add in Categories
  2. Change the Comments view
  3. Add in a drop-down for Archives
  4. Add in a chatbox - Cbox
  5. ...
This list will probably grow as I intend to spend some time on this next week. Kekeke..

June 22, 2006

Displaying Error Notices

My friend called me yesterday to ask me to send out an e-mail to our group of friends, confirming a lunch meeting this weekend. She complained that she was not able to get online and so, wasn't able to send out the threaten... errr... reminder e-mail to the rest of us.

I did some snooping around to check if the ISP was having some issues and true, enough, they were and so, I found the message as shown below:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

However, note that there was a slight issue when I saw the message. -_-

The 2nd paragraph (as hi-lighted) had a font size smaller than what was expected, which might indicate that the ISP wasn't really interested in "restoring services" ?

Wouldn't this send a wrong perception to the customer reading this message?

Anyway, call me fussy but I believe that what message you provide to the customer is a reflection of the professionalism of the company.

I was browsing the ISP's site using Mozilla Firefox and so, this font size difference really showed up quite obvious on my browser. However, it was slightly less when I browsed using Microsoft IE.

Goes to show, these people didn't standardize on their CSS or they didn't do enough browser compatibility tests before rolling the page out.

June 09, 2006

World Cup 2006

Needless to say, support work has been redirected towards other more important channels. (^_^)

Gambateh England!!! May you reach beyond Quarter-Finals this year....

P/S: Its a joke. I don't have any application which will do this. ^___^

June 02, 2006

Nice and Free - meebo.com

I'm a cheapskate.. Haha. Really.. Nah!! Kidding!!

Basically, I'm always happy to find out little gems on the Internet which costs $o or less and Meebo is just one of them.

It's a website which allows you to login to your MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, GTalk and AIM to chat without any client install! Neat-o, huh?? So, no more messy client installs on your PC, and if you're lazy, you can just login to this site using a normal web-browser.

The best part is, this site uses AJAX technology and so, they're really at the cutting edge of this new stuff. The site is really good, allowing you to reconnect to your clients without refreshing your browser. The best thing is, no pop-ups!! All the "windows" are running in the browser page!!!

The most amazing part of this software --- its still in ALPHA mode...

Anyway, they're asking people to help advertise their site and put in an ad-button on their pages.

Well, being someone who loves to put in a good word for good, reliable, (and free!) software, I've decided to advertise for meebo as well.

Love meebo...

June 01, 2006

Buy Original - Rise of Legends

Oooo!!! Look what I got? Hehe...

Its the game which I've been waiting for nearly 6mths... Rise of Nations: Rise Of Legends... **slurp**

Anyway, I decided to go "Ori" (Original) and paid upfront full-price for the game. Its not bad. It came with a free mousepad worth RM60. I got it from Software Boutique @ Ikano Power Centre.

I haven't started playing the game yet and hence, I can't give a review here. I just wanted to emphasize that getting an original game isn't cheap in M'sia. o___0

So, you can imagine, how much more it'll cost just to get original software for your personal use? *sigh*...

Anyway, do keep an eye out for the review from my other blog @ MSNSpaces --> House Of Snoopy.

P/S: If you squint your eyes, you'll make out that the game costs RM139.. ^___^
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