Joe DeCarlo, a colleague from my Turner Broadcasting days, was recently awarded the MCA. That is, he is now a Microsoft Certified Architect. Kirk Evans posted an interview with him about the program here. It is a difficult program to get into, and requires a recommendation from at least one MCA, as well as vetting by other MCA’s. They are a rather elite circle of professionals with a strong interest in maintaining the high standards of excellence of their self-selecting club. Hats off to Joe for making it.
While articulating what an architect’s specific role in a company actually is can be difficult — which is one of the reasons Microsoft began this program — the outlines are fairly simple. The architect is there to make sure that the contractors don’t screw you when you need some work done on your house, or when you need a new enterprise application built for your company. Anything beyond that, like making sure the roof doesn’t fall in once you start running a million transactions a day through your new edifice, is gravy.