A lot to do about Architect roles these days. As I mentioned before there's a site Skyscraper where you can find out more about the different types of Architect roles you can find in an enterprise: solution, infrastructure, strategic and industry.
What I've read on blogs so far has been centered around the question: Which type of architect am I. Jelle Druyts puts himself in the triangle as shown in the picture below as suggested by Simon Guest.
I'm deeply convinced about the value of architecture . I've written way to many applications I'm not proud of because of no-design or bad design (1. data model 2. middle tier 3. client) so I won't be stating that the importance Architecture is being overstated, it isn't!
What I do want to rant about though is about the usage of the architect title. It's like everyone needs to be one. Especially the top developers seem to be targeted. If you are a lead developer then you stand a big chance of being labeled an Aspiring Architect by some folks within Microsoft. IMHO, you don't need to be an architect to be architecting. I would even say that probably most of the good architectural work comes from Lead Developers who have a deep deep udnerstanding of what software is all about.
That's why I would like to add a bit to the graph Jelle put on his site. If would still be a developer, I would love to have grown to being a Lead Developer. Great in writing code, designing software/solutions but staying clear from the business (political) side of things.
That said, skyscraper still rocks and Tech Ed: Developers is going to be THE place for all Lead Developers and probably a few Aspiring Architects too 🙂