The Matrix Has You

by Charles Miller on April 3, 2007

On the occasion of the changing of my job title from Lead Developer to Product Architect, as posted to my internal Atlassian weblog.

The Architect: Hello, Neo.

Neo: Who are you?

The Architect: I am the Architect. I created the matrix. I've been waiting for you. You have many questions, and although the process has altered your consciousness, you remain irrevocably human. Ergo, some of my answers you will understand, and some of them you will not. Concordantly, while your first question may be the most pertinent, you may or may not realize it is also irrelevant.

Neo: Why do we need an architect?

The Architect: On one level, Confluence is an unimaginable mass of ones and zeros, all packed together. On another level, it is line after line of Java code. On yet another level it is interdependent managers passing messages to one another. Higher, it is the interaction of hundreds of libraries. Higher still, it it the result of a score of developer-years of deep thinking, alcohol consumption and the occasional nerf war.

Neo: You haven't answered my question.

The Architect: Quite right. Interesting. Perhaps the question is wrong?

Neo: Why do we need an architect now?

The Architect: Confluence is the result of a million decisions made at different times by different people. It is the tangible expression of a chaotic system of interlocking rules. For the past four years I have watched it grow in different directions. It has grown unevenly, it has developed anomalies, eddies and vortexes in what should be smooth and unbroken.

Neo: So what can we do about it?

The Architect: Have you heard of this thing they call... Service Oriented Architecture?

Neo: We are so fucked.

Previously: An Open Letter to Maven 2

Next: The Parable of the Watch