A Trace in the Sand

by Ruth Malan

 

 

 

 

Architects Architecting Architecture  

October 2014

10/1/14

What's a Trace?

My Trace is a playground for developing ideas, for exploring architecture and the role of architects. It is a journal of discovery, and traces my active reflection. I've been journaling "out loud" here for over eight years. To get a sense of the span, calibre and contribution of this body of work, there's a selection of traces linked here. When reading a trace in isolation, it may feel like you've been dropped into a thought fray unprepared for the action that is already in progress. It's okay. You're smart, and my Trace assumes that. You'll get your bearing quickly. Just give it a chance -- maybe a little September? or August? August was more chunky. September, somewhat spunky. Like this:

Books. These days. Too many get so ponderous, and repetitively grind their mislabeled axes.

or

Like my journal (oh dear, really?), it can feel a bit like some folks left their drapes open while they changed their minds...

Not that August was without -- I mean, who else titles a post about the Single Responsibility Principle

A Conjecture and a Knock-Down Argument... were taking a hike...

One day someone will notice that I do stuff like that, huh? But what about the content? Take the Object Synonymous trace. It's an unassuming, playful little trace that carries more than its weight in big ideas.

Oh yeah. This is worth digging up again:

... this clearly is a rather something body of work --- buried in our field, no less... Ah. The intrigue. The misdeeds. Buried? In a field?

Smile! Or. Smile?

Oh, well... at least the writing here is... energetic... and certainly does not stop at clarity and logic:

"Good writing is clear. Talented writing is energetic. Good writing avoids errors. Talented writing makes things happen in the reader’s mind — vividly, forcefully — that good writing, which stops with clarity and logic, doesn’t." -- Samuel Delaney

Last month the balloon that lofts my ego high enough to write out loud in public, was punctured with criticism of my writing and a pointer to a writing analysis tool to help me improve it, so indulge me a little and at least give me energetic, okay? Thank you. You're very kind.

 

10/1/14

London -- ARE. YOU. READY?!

I am sooo looking forward to working with many great architects during the "Architecting: it’s (not) what you think" workshop at the Software Architect Conference in London (October 14)! Gulp -- impressed that the workshop filled so quickly.

 

 

10/2/14

'Splainin' Splainin'

My take on 'splainin' is that we are wired to connect, to help, to be collaborative and yadda good stuff. Sara wrote an awesome poem on oxytocin for homework last night (the wonder of deadlines, you know), and she won't let me have it to share with you, but here are the last two lines:

Oxytocin has grasp of our chemical soul
And honestly I don't mind it having control

Given all the other ways we're wired -- fight or flight lizard brain defense routines, and all that -- I'm all like "Moar oxytocin! Moar oxytocin!" Go look at photos of your kids when they were bubs.

But splutter. Splainin Ruth. You were splainin. Yeah. Yeah. I'm just preparing the ground of your mind a little, ya know. Take another look at those baby pics; gaze into the smiling face of your loyaly dog.... ;-)

So. Take wanting to help, and expectation biases, and voila. Condescension. We offer help to the stereotyped image of a person we hold, instead of investigating whether that help is even in the ballpark of being helpful, or if, because it bespeaks a view of the person that diminishes their abilities, it is an insult that says in actions what hurts louder than words.

Anyway. That's how I mom-splained 'splainin' to my teen when she came home hurt and rebellious at her first experience of this lubbly phenomenon. She took my 'splainin zeal in stride, and didn't let it dent her dignity, so far as I'm aware. I hope you're as tolerant. :-) The thing is, 'splainin is fine most of the time. It might be boring and tiresome, but not necessarily hurtful. It's just when it hits the core identity of a person that it really pins one to the wall in pain. Splain some obvious tech concept to a bright nerdy girl based on small-minded assumptions about girls, and it's going to hurt. Because the assumption hurts. That sort of thing.

 

 

I also write at:

- Bredemeyer Resources for  Architects

- Trace In the Sand Blog

 

 

 

Journal Archives

- Journal Map

- storylines tubemap by Peter Bakker

 

2014

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2012

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2011

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More Archives

 

 

 

I also write at:

Papers:

- Strategy, Architecture and Agility: The Art of Change: Fractal and Emergent, 2010 

- Innovation and Agile Architecting: Getting Past ‘But’: Finding Opportunity and Making It Happen, 2008

- EA and Business Strategy: Enterprise Architecture as Strategic Differentiator, 2005

- The Role of the Architect:: What it Takes to be a Great Enterprise Architect, 2004

 

Ruth Malan has played a pioneering role in the software architecture field, helping to define architectures and the process by which they are created and evolved, and helping to shape the role of the software, systems and enterprise architect. She and Dana Bredemeyer created the Visual Architecting Process which emphasizes: architecting for agility, integrity and sustainability. Creating architectures that are good, right and successful, where good: technically sound; right: meets stakeholders goals and fits context and purpose; and successful: actually delivers strategic outcomes. Translating business strategy into technical strategy and leading the implementation of that strategy. Applying guiding principles like: the extraordinary moment principle; the minimalist architecture principle; and the connect the dots principle. Being agile. Creating options.

Feedback: I welcome input, discussion and feedback on any of the topics in this Trace in The Sand Journal, my blog, and the Resources for Architects website, or, for that matter, anything relevant to architects, architecting and architecture! I can be reached at

Use: If you wish to quote or paraphrase original work on this page, please properly acknowledge the source, with appropriate reference to this web page. Thank you.

Visualization

- Links to tools and other resources

 

Misc.

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Copyright © 2014 by Ruth Malan
http://www.ruthmalan.com
Page Created:October 1, 2014
Last Modified: October 1, 2014