As my working life progresses, I'm finding an increasing tension between architecting and coding. My problem is that I love both. My managers would be perfectly happy if I spent my entire day architecting. But I would be miserable without that real connection to code.
Code grounds me and connects me to the project in a way that architecting does not. And I tend to do my best architecting *while* I'm coding. Coding puts me in an almost meditative state of mind where I can do my best work. I think this breaks traditional rules of design first, code second, but coding puts me in the moment and lets me see the issues all in context.
And I love the creative control of architecture. I moved to coding from technical writing partially because I wanted to have a say in *what* got built before it was too late. I want to figure out what features belong, what features fit, how we can best solve customer needs, etc. I want to design. I don't want to code someone else's design, I want to code my own!
I would posit that you really can't architect without also coding. If I had only been an architect on Workplace Designer rather than coder and architect, I would not have had the skills to know what could be done - I needed to retrain in Eclipse and Java, to get that connection to what's real.
So I am going to have to be a rebel and be a coding architect.