Excuse me, what language do software architects speak?

I have heard people say I am a technologist because I want to change the world. I don’t argue with them. They don’t understand how inane that sounds when they say it. So its best to pack your bags and consider them a lost cause.

As a technologist I am trying to make the lives of those touched by technology better. In some ways removing complexity from where it is and replacing it with simplistic. Speaking English instead of techspeak. If you tell them how smart you are, they are going to suspect otherwise.

There are ways to make things easier. The complexity of technology is often the language we technologists use. That isn’t by the way a condemnation it is simply a fact. Professions create their own languages to communicate within their profession. That is a typical response to language. The problem isn’t new words, it using existing words differently. Network means connect with people to realtors, to IT people it is the way computers talk. A technologists would say you use social media to talk to people. Every profession does it, and frankly English is far to pliable a language.

Perhaps as part of the simple software architecture movement we should create an Esperanto of technology. A simple language that anyone can learn so that we can express the terms and ideas of technologists easily. That way we don’t further destroy English. A language that has been stretched beyond its ability to exist by the many professions that have changed it to fit their needs.

There is an old joke about two men at a bar arguing about a word. The bartender leans in and says you are both right. I never got the joke until recently. You see both were using the word correctly but as it was a Doctor and a Lawyer sitting at the bar they weren’t speaking the same English.


There is a universal cross cutting belief in the KIS process (Keep it simple). Everyone pays homage to that phrase. Every profession uses the phrase. They add the components of their profession to the language, and profess they are adhering to KIS.

In fact they aren’t. My profession, software architect, is one of the newest and pretty bad at coopting the language for our purposes. It makes communication harder when you are allowed to use words differently than everyone else.

Its why we have dictionaries. But then every profession has their own dictionary. Yes, this word means blah according to Webster’s or Oxford. But in my profession it means hah. Hah and Blah are different because my profession says so.

So let’s end with the joke but let’s fix it. Two people, a female doctor and a male lawyer are sitting at a bar. They are talking about the world liability. The doctor explains that in the medical profession they call liability Hah. The lawyer explains that in the legal profession they describe Hah as malpractice. The bar tender leans in and says “do either of you need another drink.”