Development: Architecture Astronauts

Listening to Dave Winers Morning Coffee Notes I learned a new expression: Architecture Astronauts (coined by Joel). It reminded me a of a case where we started designing a new system that was supposed to integrate two existing products by making a connectivity library that would be used by these two products (this was at Andyne). We were doing everything by the book: use cases, meeting notes, UML diagrams etc.. We met several times a week for an hour or so and discussed details at length. Yet after several months of this we still didn't have half of the project designed and absolutely no code written. We had become Architecture Astronauts.
We kept flying higher and higher trying to design the perfect connectivity layer that could handle both SQL data sources and multidimensional data sources, and we ended up nowhere. Thinking of UML diagrams and Use Cases still leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth (although less so after reading Writing Effective Use Cases).
Now that I have a name for this I think I can finally have some closure.


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