Do the right thing…
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A gift you never know. When I was younger we used to sit down after the holidays and birthdays (mine were at the same time so a little easier) and send notes to people thanking them for the gifts they had given us.

It is such a simple courtesy. Now we make the kids specifically say thank you to the person that gave them the gift. We don’t force them to write a note but at least to acknowledge the receipt and thanking the person for that gift.

In the end it is simple human courtesy.

The reason for this small diatribe is a long time personal frustration. It also ties back to my blog series on Architects and ethics (on the IASA blogs at ). By the way if you haven’t gone to see the new IASA site yet, check it out. The team has revamped the web site and made it into a simply amazing toolkit addition for software architects.

What is the expectation for common courtesy among architects? It’s a question I’ve pondered for a long time. Software Architects are often empowered to enter the room to evaluate and in the end discard bad solutions. They are empowered to enter the room and hearing a specific business problem or a set of universal problems come up with a way to solve that problem.

Are software architects bound to different rules as far as courtesy? no they in the end have the same rules as the rest of us. We all know people who feel entitled and therefore anything you do for them is simply paying them back for what you owe them. They don’t acknowledge gifts, they don’t attempt to connect with you. The same is true in the workplace.

I had a friend who once said “meetings are mine fields, problem is they are stealth mines and you never know when you stepped on one.” I heard him say that 100 times. It never sank in until recently. It has made me realize that there is a question here of impact that while not ethics certainly lives in the realm of the right thing to do.

What rules of common courtesy do not apply universally?


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow