The Tao of the System Architect

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Inspired by and derived from text written by software process expert Philippe Kruchten and from “The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tao Teh King, by Lao-Tze“, translated by James Legge.

The architect observes the world
but trusts his inner vision.

He allows things to come and go.
His heart is open as the sky.
The architect doesn’t talk,  he acts.
When this is done, the team says, “Amazing, we did it, all by ourselves!”

When a great architect leads, the team
is hardly aware that he exists.

A good scientist has freed herself of concepts
and keeps his mind open to what is.

Thus the architect is available to everyone
and rejects no one.
He is ready to use all situations
and does not waste anything.

If you want to shrink something,
you must first allow it to expand.

If you want to get rid of something,
you must first allow it to flourish.

If you want to take something,
you must first allow it to be given.

This is called the subtle perception of the way things are.

The soft overcomes the hard.
The slow overcomes the fast.

Let your workings remain a mystery.
Just show people the results.

When the process is lost, there is good practice.
When good practice is lost, there are rules.
When rules are lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the beginning of chaos.

The architect concerns himself
with the depth and not the surface,
with the fruit and not the flower.
The architect allows things to happen.
He shapes events as they come.
He steps out of the way
and lets the design speak for itself.

The architect gives himself up
to whatever the moment brings.
He knows that he is going to leave,
and he has nothing left to hold on to: no illusions, no resistance in his mind.

He holds nothing back from the project,
therefore is ready for departure,
as a man is ready for sleep
after a good day’s work.

The great way is easy,
yet programmers prefer the side paths.

Be aware when things are out of balance.
Remain centred within the design.

The architect’s power is like this.
He lets all things come and go
effortlessly, without desire.

He never expects results;
thus he is never disappointed.

He is never disappointed;
thus her spirit never grows old.

Those who know don’t talk.
Those who talk don’t know.
Those who do not have a clue are still debating about the process.
Those who know just do it.

The architect is content
to serve as an example
and not to impose his will.

He is pointed but doesn’t pierce.
Straightforward, but supple.
Radiant, but easy on the eyes.

If you want to be a great leader,
stop trying to control.

To him by whom this harmony is known,
The secret of the unchanging Tao is shown,
And in the knowledge wisdom finds its throne.

Lao Tse stone status, Mount Qingyuan






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