Engineering elegance

I came across this quote on definition of engineering elegance by a French aviator and author Antoine de Saint- Exupéry: “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Is this statement applicable to software architecture? Aren’t architects constantly trying to add features that fulfill more and more functional and non-functional requirements? Aren’t multiple layers of security always good? Wouldn’t installing a .NET framework 3.5, for example, is better than .NET 3.0, because it has more features?

Perhaps those who see the power in this quote are the architects who are able to truly understand the essence of a business problem; it is those who can skillfully control the scope. But is this applicable to the software architecture domain as it stands now?

Constantin Kostenko
Firebrand Architect®
SoftwareArchitectures.com
FirebrandArchitect.com

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