One of the most contentious words in technology culture today is “Architect.” I experience an endless stream of divisive, confusing opinions about what "architecture" means. At a conference, an attendee noticed that my badge said "architect" and told me "I want to be an architect too, but I don't know enough about Kubernetes yet".
Architecture, in the systems age, is not (just) Kubernetes. It's not the implementation of any particular toolset. Architecture is designing relationships between parts and adapting those relationship patterns as circumstances change. This requires engaging our mental models and working together to transform them.
The architecture skillset is sociotechnical -- a blend of social and technology skills. It is a way of thinking and communicating. In the modern age, there is no division between the way we think together and the code running in production. Our thinking designs our architecture.
Architecture is structuring good systems thinking.
In this talk, I will admit that *sometimes* architecture is Kubernetes. And share five essential qualities that make a good architect a great architect, regardless of the toolset they employ.