That seemed to be consensus of some very long discussions with Udi. In essence, I'd like to have a way to make architecture more concrete, have a roadmap for how someone can become an architect, have some way to rate how good architects are, and make our profession more understandable for others and was looking for ideas on how to do this.
I know this is hard (maybe impossible), but I think it's part of our responsibility as architects to groom the next generation and try to make our profession easier to grasp and aspire to. We talked about so many subjects at length and at the end that was the only thing we could agree on. I think this reinforces some of my thoughts that a large part of the skills needed to be a successful architect is problem solving. This particular set of problems happen to be in the field of IT and around software and infrastructure design, but the general problem solving skills are still what seperate the good architects from the bad ones. Obviously technical knowledge is a fundamental requirement but being able to apply the wide array of technical knowledge to a specific problem is the key.
I'll have a lot more to say on this subject in future posts, but for now I'm trying to do my part by encouraging the architect community in the Gulf to get together in a forum and have these kinds of discussions. I think the more smart people we have dreaming up ideas on how to do this the better we'll be able to make progress on this problem for our whole profession.