Twin Cities Software Symposium

March 4 - 6, 2016

Communication for Architects

Sunday - Mar 6 2:15 PM - SALON C

Nathaniel Schutta

Nathaniel Schutta

Architect as a Service

At the end of the day, an architect's primary job is to communicate. Not only do we need to make sure our teams understand the design of the system well enough to implement it, we must be able to explain our decisions to an audience that isn't impressed with how many TLAs you can rattle off in one sentence. Successful architects need to seamlessly transition from in depth technical conversations to budget meetings to discussions with end users adjusting the message to fit the audience.

While oral communication is key, good architects also spend a good deal of time putting pixel to screen via email, IM and various architectural documents we're expected to create. We need to write clearly and concisely while also knowing when the best course of action is to pick up the phone or walk to someone's desk.

In this talk, we'll explore the various methods that we as architects use to communicate with our stakeholders. We'll talk about knowing our audience, being able to present as well as how to run a good meeting. We'll discuss various patterns (and antipatterns) of presenting along with some concrete advice on how to do it better. At the end of the day, our job is to tell effectively tell a story - this talk will look at ways to do that.

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About Nathaniel Schutta

Nathaniel T. Schutta is a software architect focused on cloud computing and building usable applications. A proponent of polyglot programming, Nate has written multiple books, appeared in various videos and speaks regularly at conferences worldwide, No Fluff Just Stuff symposia, meetups, universities, and user groups. In addition to his day job, Nate is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota where he teaches students to embrace dynamic languages. In an effort to rid the world of bad presentations, Nate coauthored the book Presentation Patterns with Neal Ford and Matthew McCullough.