Chief Software Architect

ChiefSoftwareArchitect = job title BillGates gave himself.

See ChiefArchitect or TechnicalLead, if you wish to use a more conventional definition.
I think this is very different that the ChiefArchitect thread. In many ways, ChiefArchitect was just a way to create a WikiName for the role of the Software Architect. The role BillGates has created for himself of ChiefSoftwareArchitect is just insane. <g>
I'll offer something up. I think of "architecture" as "global decisions", and therefore an "architect" is someone who makes global decisions. The nice thing about this use of the word is that is scales up and down to teams of differing granularity. In this use of the word, it does in fact make sense for BillGates to be viewed as ChiefSoftwareArchitect, because he will personally make the big global decisions, ones that affect many teams and many product lines, things like "this will be compatible / incompatible with this; these are the dominant priorities; these things get this much attention" and so on. I suspect he is close enough in to the technical discussions that his edicts have impact on the shape of the resulting software. That makes him "most global software decision maker in MS," unlike LouGerstner, who does not issue edicts like that about IBM software. --AlistairCockburn
In fact, Bill keeps up with many technical details. He's constantly briefed on technical details of many projects. And, if stories are true, he has a fairly deep understanding of most computer-related technologies.

Microsoft people are prone to say that "BillGates is best programmer in Microsoft."

I think they exaggerate. But he's no PointyHairedBoss: The "ChiefSoftwareArchitect" title is probably not too far off of reality, from what I hear. -- JeffGrigg

Hmmm... I've heard that he reviews rather than performs prime-mover type activities. My guess is that CharlesSimonyi is more of a ChiefSoftwareArchitect, but that's just a guess. --RobertDiFalco

Hmm. We know better than Bill what he should be called.
Are we gonna hash all this stuff all over again? C'mon, folks. An architect is somebody who identifies and articulates the rules that govern the substrate of a system. The architect is responsible for figuring out what functionality is required to make a product that particular product and what isn't necessary to have, and clearly distinguishes between the two. There are a lot of discussions on this Wiki about architecture, most of them argued from a perspective of total ignorance.

I'm getting a little tired of all this drivel. Perhaps it's time to do some refactoring of all the discussions on architecture and get them trimmed down to just a few, easily-maintained pages. -- MartySchrader

Ooh, look!

"ChiefSoftwareArchitect is the best paying, fastest growing, non-white-collar crime job in América! C-:


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