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If an architect that hasn't coded in 5 years or more dictates technological decisions to you, when they are out of touch of current best practices, how do you bridge that gap?

Building codes change. Architects are required to design buildings according to the new codes. There is no such thing in software.

When I first started in industry, storing plaintext passwords in the database was what everyone did. We have moved on from that. I've worked on j2ee web apps, where the EJB tier absolutely had to be on a separate server or servers. Times have moved on from there. I've met very few "software architects" that have kept current without writing code at least 5-10% of their job.

Times do change, but it doesn't mean you need to know every single detailed implementation. If the standard practice was plain text, and then became hash...the architect dictates that passwords needs to be hashed. They don't necessarily need to know how to code it.

In my company my 'enterprise architect' oversees at least 40 applications in my space in various languages and platforms (and he works in other spaces too so I can't give an exact number). I need him to give a good direction on what apps are needed, how apps talk to each other and certain detailed design. He also pitches to management and the business to defend how/why we do certain things.

Last thing he would be required to do is remember to write basic code (though I would hope he can do a swag).

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