Click here to close now.


Agile Computing Authors: Philippe Abdoulaye, Tim Hinds, Flint Brenton, David Dodd, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: Arranged Java Marriages

Wikipedia: "An arranged marriage is a marriage in which the marital partners are chosen by others"

As per Wikipedia, "an arranged marriage is a marriage in which the marital partners are chosen by others based on considerations other than the pre-existing mutual attraction of the partners."

This definition comes to mind when I see how large IT organizations prearrange "marriages" between Java application developers and architects. I'd like to discuss potential issues between architects and developers and, to avoid confusion, I'll keep quoting Wikipedia in italic font.

The Honeymoon
As soon as your IT department grows to more than a half of a dozen Java developers, the leader of the pack (the architect) suggests centralized creation of reusable components. This is an easy sell: your group is agile and still not too large and, if one of these components needs to be changed, the architect is right on the premises and he or she works for you and on your schedule. Developers know on which shelf a singleton object resides and where the date transformation utilities are located, and they are happily reusing them as the need arises. At this stage we can call relations be-tween developers and architects consensual.

The Family Life (Corporate Politics)
Time goes by, the economy is on the rise, and older Java species bring in the younger ones. The population increases. Management moves the architects from several application development units into a new group where they can increase reusability of the objects and frameworks across the enterprise.

When a new development project begins, you (the application developer) are told that you must use only the objects and frameworks recommended by the architecture group. Basically, you don't have a choice.

Noble families, especially reigning families, long used arranged marriage to consolidate their strengths and to join their kingdoms. The parents, who often arrange the marriages, are trusted to make a match that is in the best interest of their children; though there are times when the choosers select a match that serves their interest and not the couple's.

Yes, your architects create new components and frameworks, but don't they have to compete with outside third-party vendors? If Jakarta Commons has a generic pool object, why are you not allowed to use it in your project and have to use the homegrown pool instead?

Arranged marriages can also be very flexible. In one scenario, the parents introduce their son or daughter to several potential mates, while giving two the final decision, given some time.

Here's a typical conversation over the morning coffee:

  • Darling, I need a generic Java class that would run SQL queries that are given in an XML file.
  • No problem, honey. Now I'm working on a very exciting project: a global logger that will allow reading of any log file on any specified corporate workstation. But I'll definitely look into your request next month.
  • But I have my deadlines... Remember, you promised that my wish would be your order...
Architecture groups often turn themselves into small kingdoms where mere Java mortals are not allowed (they might have picked up this infection after multiple unsafe relations with Oracle DBAs). Their main business is now the evaluation and purchase of the third-party tools and the introduction of new software layers between these tools and business applications. They know how to talk the talk, and the CIO rests assured that everything goes well. Meanwhile, experienced application developers start to quietly develop their own components to meet their deadlines. Their weak attempts to offer these completed useful components back to the architecture group are not always well received.

Proponents of arranged marriages claim that arranged marriages are more successful than other marriages. They hold that the spouses in an arranged marriage begin without any expectations from each other, and that as the relationship matures, a greater understanding between the two develops.

The Family Budget
Who pays the architects' salaries? The architects usually cut slices from the approved budgets for business application development. I am absolutely not against such deals as long as the architects don't forget who makes their living. They can really save the firm's money by suggesting solutions leading to efficient utilization of existing server licenses, idling hardware, use of open source products, parallel computing, performing code reviews, mentoring of junior developers, delivering technical training (not the one that exists in the approved list of courses), and suggesting best practices that are immediately applicable to business systems.

Arranged marriages operate on the notion that marriages are primarily an economic union or a means to have children.

Unfortunately, not every marriage produces children.

Divorce Is Not an Option
It has also been said that in some cultures where divorce is forbidden or uncommon, arranged marriage would work out nicely because both husband and wife would accept the marriage, producing their best efforts to make it a success instead of breaking up at the slightest conflict.

Needless to say that application developers must also put their best foot forward and stop blaming architects when something doesn't work right. The chances are that you didn't spend enough time learning how to use these components. Maybe they're not that bad?

Oh well, it's time to take a shower, go to bed, and have relations with my spouse...oops...I meant to say it's time to go to a meeting with the Java architecture group.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion ( He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
Philip Hartman 12/13/05 11:52:18 AM EST

I found your article really amusing, yet thought provoking. See also:

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound cha...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content. Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...