Why the wrong SOA architects were fired

Why firing the unpopular SOA nerd is typically the wrong call

SOA projects have been downsized, and there are more qualified SOA architects seeking jobs today than I can remember. However, in many instances, those out on the streets looking for work were the wrong ones to lay off, while those less SOA qualified remain behind.

The core issue is that many well-qualified SOA architects who understand the issues, and typically are those that move the projects forward, are also typically not political animals. Thus, they are not known as well as others on the team, in some cases perhaps not as well liked, and when it's time to cut 20 percent, they are the ones to go. What's left are those on the team who are more organizationally aware, know when to compliment the CIO's tie, but don't have a good grasp on the core concepts of SOA or how to get things done.

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Of course, there are exceptions to this rule: Good architects who are also good with people or those who are bad with people and bad with SOA. However, generally speaking I think that many who are good with SOA are not as good with people and easy targets for outplacement. Therefore, many SOA teams are left much less productive than they were before the "nerd" was shown the door.

Many projects are going to suffer, driven by those who are more interested in doing studies and delivering presentations than those who actually roll up their sleeves and get the work done. However, it also means that there are a few more good people looking for SOA work and now is the time to grab them up, if you need them.

Just to be clear, I think that doing architecture means having both people and architectural skills, so please don't blast me on that. However, given the choice I would rather have somebody who can push the ball forward rather than make me feel good, or even worse, somebody who is looking out for their interests more than the company's. Give me a good SOA nerd any day.