In fact I could write another post about the tyranny of metaphors.
Architecture:the making of metaphors: Aesthetic; architecture:the making of metaphors(c)
They have no precision. It is also too easy to get carried away with the metaphor. Having said that, metaphors are an important part of communication, and we will do well to use them wisely especially to communicate the unfamiliar to people — and enterprise architecture is very unfamiliar to many, especially grandmothers! Which is not the case…. Metaphors are like maps, they are not the real thing but a great starting point for discussions.
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So metaphors helped me to generate a lot of feedback and helped me to generate a lot of prototypes in a very short time. But there always will be a point where you must let the metaphor go and start focusing on the real thing.
Using metaphors to explain something to laymen seem logical but will a grandmother know what an investment banker or a city planner is really doing? Again, you are right on the money. Amusingly I had two very different reactions today. The other was when I was talking with a colleague and he was saying that it had taken hm many years to realise that being an EA was all about investment.
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In summary, we should be cautious as to using architecture as a metaphor for some of the things we do in software engineering. Excellent observation.
I would like to point out an additional aspect. The software architecture metaphor is not only about roles and tasks and salary , but it is also a way to express a desired power structure. The architect role has been introduced into software development to give a person special entitlement to decisions about system structure. Agile method proponents removed this role to shift this power from one person to the team as a whole.