Last week I enjoyed my semi-annual “whack on the side of the head” meeting with my Pioneers—our lead users who are veteran technology and business architects. This small band has been gathering twice a year since the early ’90s. What they have in common is a way they view themselves and the world. This worldview evolves over time, of course, but there seem to be some basic principles that are wired into their nervous systems/perceptual filters.
They were all pioneers in the early days of distributed object computing—so they view the world as a place in which intelligent robust services come together dynamically to empower and enable complex operations. They have designed and implemented a variety of very impressive systems over the years—from nuclear power plants to global banking systems, from complex logistics systems to derivatives trading systems. Their IT designs often feature large shared memory in which big abstract models can run—these abstractions are connected to the physical world and instrumented with real-time events. The designs often incorporate rules engines. Yet they love simplicity. Every element is self-contained and self-describing.