Have you heard of a judge who wasn’t a lawyer; or a chief of surgery who wasn’t a surgeon? Even after they get to what some would call the pinnacles of their career, the people holding these occupations are still expected to continue learning the new developments within their respective fields. As software architects, we should be held to the same standards.
No matter how well designed a solution is, one of the most important factors for determining the success of an implementation is getting the developers to sign on to the game plan. The quickest way to get the developers to sign on is to gain their respect and trust. We all know the quickest way to gain a developers trust: your code is your currency. If you can show your developers that you‘re not just some pie in the sky day dreamer who can‘t code his way out of a paper bag, you‘ll hear less grumbling about the hoops you‘re “making” them jump through to get data to show on the page when “I can get it done in less time by just binding a dataset to a grid.”
Even though I‘m not required to as part of my job, I will frequently pick up some of the more intricate tasks. This serves two purposes: first it‘s fun and helps me to keep my development skills sharp; second, it helps me demonstrate to my developers that I‘m not just blowing smoke where the sun doesn‘t shine.
As an architect, your primary goal should be to create a solution that is feasible, maintainable, and of course addresses the issue at hand. Part of knowing what is feasible in a solution is having knowledge of the effort involved in developing the elements of the solution. Therefore, I propose that if you design it, you should be able to code it.