Why No One Wants To Grow Up to Be an Enterprise Architect

I recently attended a meetup for Enterprise Architects. I had to deal with the EA world years ago when I was reorganized into managing a brand new Enterprise Architecture Department. I remember trying to make the best of it and even being hopeful that EA and Agile could be combined. I only stayed in the position about 9 months before moving onto another Application Development Manager at a new company.

I ended up leaving the meetup quite early after the discussion veered heavily into consulting, no one listening to the EAs, enterprise data models, and governance. When the topic of coding was brought up the consensus was EAs don’t code. At that point I realized I was in an alien environment and it was time to exit.

Architects and Enterprise Architects are widely disliked by many developers. The reasons are numerous:

  • Enterprise Architects are often very siloed and rarely interact with the rest of the developers.
  • EAs sometimes take pride in statement’s about not coding, but insist on choosing development tools and platforms for the organization.
  • Governance is used as a stick to force developers to only use approved technologies
  • Documentation and EA Frameworks are valued over making progress on solutions.

Having transitioned back to software based companies I can’t see ever stepping back into a company that actually has an EA department.