Is “Architect” term a buzzword?

In one of the discussions in LinkedIn, I read this comment to a question “What is the minimum set of job experience for a full architect?”. i found the break-up nice and thought of copying the same on my blog for my reference.

Architect needs to exhibit different straits. The degree of the strait is dependent on the architect role you play. Some of the common roles played by Architect are:  1)Enterprise Architect 2) Solutions Architect 3) Application Architect. The common traits among these types and how they differ for each of the type are:

Strategic Thinking EA:Across Projects
SA: Focused on solution
AA: Component re-use, maintainability
Systems Interactions: EA: Highly Abstracted
SA: Very Detailed
AA: Centered on single Application
Communication EA: Across Organization
SA: Multiple Teams
AA: Single Project
Design EA: Minimal, High Level
SA: Detailed
AA: Very Detailed


So, experience level required on each trait will vary according to the role of architect. For example, for an EA chances are communication skills are more important then say for an AA which by definition is most likely working on a single project. (more focused, not less important). I am sure that I have not played EA role. I  might    have  performed one of the other architect roles or was just playing a seasoned software engineer(with other role of Manager) architecting solutions without any buzzword.  While architecting a solution, I  need  to figure which of the following I follow and which not.

  • Provide solution that meet short term and long term business requirement very easily
  • Provide solution that exhibit both business and technology sense
  • Involve in making teams adhere to several best practices based software development lifecycles.
  • Elicit requirements that can be translated into design.
  • Feel passionate about quality, simplicity and optimization.
  • Possess soft skills to be effective as an architect including leadership, project management, negotiation skills, conflict resolution and evangelism.
  • Ready to negotiate tradeoff effectively between system qualities by understanding the business and their key critical to quality needs.