Architecture astronauts, part deux

My favorite Joe on Software post of all time is his piece on Architecture Astronauts. If you’ve ever worked for a large high tech company, you can’t miss architecture astronauts. They’re everywhere. They either work on projects that never ship or ones that become hopelessly and unnecessarily complex. Joel nails this phenomenon in this article.

These are the people I call Architecture Astronauts. It’s very hard to get them to write code or design programs, because they won’t stop thinking about Architecture. They’re astronauts because they are above the oxygen level, I don’t know how they’re breathing. They tend to work for really big companies that can afford to have lots of unproductive people with really advanced degrees that don’t contribute to the bottom line.

He just posted a follow-up to this post. It’s mostly a rant about Microsoft shenanigans and the evils of big companies. But he also provides some examples of the latest architecture astronaut output from Redmond. His related anecdote about big company recruiting impacts is also interesting:

…between Microsoft and Google the starting salary for a smart CS grad is inching dangerously close to six figures and these smart kids, the cream of our universities, are working on hopeless and useless architecture astronomy…

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