Archive for September, 2010

What’s Really Going On In Architecture

Information systems have been a fertile domain for academic researchers for more than forty years so it’s somewhat surprising when you discover how little research has been done on actually doing architecture.  Now I accept that architecture is not that old and that it is probably best dated from Zachman’s seminal paper A Framework for Information Systems Architecture (IBM Systems Journal, vol 26, no. 3, 1987), but it is 2010 and that was twenty three years ago now. I guess you could shorten the architecture horizon further; I’m sure I’ve read a claim somewhere that the term was first used by IBM in the 1990’s.  But I digress,  my point is that computing in whatever guise you take it is done by people and so it would seem reasonable that the study of people involved in computing would be well developed after 40 years and that consequently one would for example be able to find heaps of quality empirical data about the various roles involved in the development of information systems.

Well, I’d argue that this is simply not the case.  So at Angry Architect we have set about doing something about it. I fact we’ve been doing a whole lot about it for some years now. And now you can be part of this worthy endeavor.

Empirical data comes in two basic varieties, secondary data which scholars painstakingly extract from other sources which can themselves be second, third or even fourth hand accounts and primary data. Primary data as its name suggests comes “from the horse’s mouth”. Well in this case from the architects’ mouths. Working with primary source data has considerable advantages over secondary data particularly when it comes to interpretation and analysis; things are much simpler when you only have to figure out what the answer means!

Angry Architect in conjunction with a PhD research student has devised, compiled and now offers you the opportunity to participate in the most comprehensive and we hope soon; with your help, the largest ever survey of Contemporary Architectural Practice.  Our aim is to achieve a sophisticated view of our dynamic profession drawn not from hear say and opinion, but founded on hard data from real architects. We urge you to be part of this research and to encourage all your associates to do likewise, so that we architects can find out what’s really going on in architecture.

This wonderful research instrument can be found at   http://angryarchitect.limequery.org

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