"Architect" is a swear word.

Ah! that's it!

I've often wondered what people really mean when they said 'Architect' while talking about software.

None of the literal meanings seem to capture the way the word itself is applied in this context. But I think I've hit the thing on the noggin at last.

A 'swear word' is a word whose literal meaning differs wildly from its contextual intent -- and whose intent can be bent to suit a great many contexts.

Take 'F---', for example. The word has a literal meaning, something like 'To copulate vigorously' -- but in actual use, the intent is generally bent to suit the context.

For example, when I hit my thumb with a hammer I say "F---!" and in that context the meaning is: "It hurts a lot when I hit my thumb with a hammer."

Or, when I get a flat tyre I say "F---!" and it means, "This flat tyre is an unexpected interruption to my day that will cause undue expense and wasteful exertion." The quickest way to say all that is simply "F---!".

Now imagine there is a guy in your organisation whose coding skills are terribly out of date, but who is not capable of performing any managerial duties.

If someone asks you, "Who is that guy?" then you probably won't waste your breath by saying, "Him? A guy whose coding skills are terribly out of date, but who is not capable of performing any managerial duties." Instead you'll permit yourself to emit a nasty little swear word and simply say, "Him? Architect." Ouch!

Now, just say you work with an impractical fool with an over-inflated sense of self-importance who destroys whatever thing he touches, never ceasing to bring layers of accidental complexity to even the simplest of contrivances, but who is, thankfully, kept out of harm's way by being assigned the task of writing grandiose-titled corporate documents that no one is ever expected to read. When someone asks you who that guy is, you draw your breath in deep, and prepare to say:

"Him? An impractical fool with an over-inflated sense of self-importance who destroys whatever thing he touches, never ceasing to bring layers of accidental complexity to even the simplest of contrivances, but who is, thankfully, kept out of harm's way by being assigned the task of writing grandiose-titled corporate documents that no one is ever expected to read." So, again, you'd just curse and say "Him? Architect?"

 

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