After many, many months of planning, and a couple of crazy days of actual doing, the Australian Architecture Forum event in Melbourne and Sydney is finally over.  We had a great turnout in both cities, and judging from the conversations I had with various people on the day, everyone loves the round-table/breakout format, and the opportunity it provides to get directly connected with other architects.  Some of my highlights included:

  • Meeting and talking with architects from a very wide range of industries and organisations.  Again, for me this is a key value of the AAF, in that it brings together a very diverse group of architects who - as it turns out - tend to share a very common set of opportunities and challenges around SOA.
  • Getting some excellent insights into Service Economies for SOA; I'm planning on writing a white paper and/or series of blog entries on some of the ideas I've been pursuing around building better alignment between the business and IT on SOA investment.  I decided that I wanted to kick off my research in this area by putting the topic to AAF round-table attendees, and the feedback was very useful.  Most salient comment of the day came from one of the attendees (from a logistics org) in the Melbourne round-table: "Why is it so easy to get the business to buy a truck, but so hard to get them to invest in SOA?".  Why indeed?  This will be the basis of some future thinking and writing on my part :) 
  • Seeing Ron Jacobs in action, presenting on RESTful services for SOA.  I actually had the priviledge of spending the few days prior to the AAF with Ron, delivering Architect Councils in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, as well as at various other developer and architecture events, which was a blast!.

Ron Jacobs at the AAF

  • Sitting in on Gianpaolo's session on the Consumerisation of IT, and a couple of his S+S round tables.  GP is a very influential thinker in the S+S/SaaS industry, and it was great spending time with him, both in the round tables as well as in the spare time around the AAF.
Gianpaolo Carraro at the AAF
  • Encountering some unexpected branding for a certain recently announced Microsoft consumer product.  And no, it's not Groove done right for the internet, nor is it just foldershare re-invented.  LiveMesh is something else entirely, but that's a topic for another day.

LiveMesh!

  • Watching Jim Webber and Josh Graham ham it up during their entertaining - and sometimes off-colour - locknote lampooning the entire SOA industry.  I'm pretty sure that no stone was left unturned in thier effort to find something or someone to poke fun at :)

Josh and Jim

I also - unfortunately - missed a lot of sessions as I spent quite a bit of time running around concentrating on logistics.  My thanks go out to Graham Elliott, Dave Lemphers, Yuri Misnik, Tom Hollander, and Matt Chessell for their contributions at the AAF, and also thanks very much to Object Consulting (especially Esther and Andy, as well as the rest of the Object team) for putting the shin-dig on and letting us participate!