Architecture World’09 – Pune
Good arrangements – I liked it more than the Bangalore event. Let me highlight 3 points from this event which can provide you with some food for thought.
1. Look at the list of speakers & panelists – you notice anything interesting?
If we discount the people from IT/Consulting companies (17-7=10) – Telecom accounts for 30% (3/10) of the remaining speakers. No other industry segment had more than one.
Sunil Dutt Jha – iCMG, Shirish Patwardhan – KPIT Cummins, Upal Chakraborty – DLF Limited, Amar Kumar Pandey – IG Police, Manish Gupta – Healthcare Global. Manoj Deshmukh – Fiserv Global Services, N Nataraj – Hexaware Technologies, Parag Matapurkar – Capgemini, Sanjay Marathe – Zensar Technologies, Manoj Shrivastava – Reliance ADA Group, Hiren Shah – CRISIL, Meenakshi Vajpai – Bharti Airtel, Steve Towers – BP Group, Tamal Chakravorty – Ericsson India, Abhay Chitnis – L&T Infotech, Suryanarayanan – NSR Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Udayan Banerjee – NIIT Technologies
It is not really surprising because Indian Telecom industry …
- …is among the largest in the world
- …is also the fastest growing in terms of absolute numbers
- …because of the size and rate of change has to deal with a level of operational scale and complexity not seen anywhere else in the world except China
- …has to depend on IT to operate effectively
- …needs an IT infrastructure with a scalable architecture capable of handling the scale and the growth
- …has architectural experience to share with other industry
Therefore – other industries have a lot to learn for Telecom.
2. The panel discussion – “Are Indian Software Architects as competent as the western counterparts?” had an interesting twist.
There were five of us of Indian origin and Steve was the lone person of non-Indian origin. All five of us kept pointing out our shortcomings but Steve compared current Indian IT scene with that on Japanese car manufacturing industry of the sixties – how they started with imitation but went on to become world beater.
Therefore – question is how can we learn for Japanese auto industry?
3. Finally, in spite of what Sunil and Manoj had to say, comparison between IT architecture and civil architecture is both inaccurate and misleading.
Though this topic will need a separate post – here are some of the points.
- Look at the definition of Civil Architecture (…design and construction…) and Software Architecture (…externally visible properties of those components, and the relationships …) from Wikipedia – they are not comparable.
- Civil Architect, using past knowledge, creates a blue print or model of what needs to be constructed – in software that activity is called design
- The rate of change of this knowledge and the underlying technology for Civil Architects is measured in terms of decade – but similar change happens in software in years –significantly reducing the possibility of reusability (see this – When Is Reuse Feasible?)
- Civil Architects deals mostly with static characteristics – but any IT or software design is mostly about dynamic behavior
- Once constructed the buildings, roads, bridges do not change much – but any IT system evolves and may become unrecognizable from its original version after a few years
Therefore – we need to look at biological systems for inspiration which grows and evolves.