Memory chip - copiright IBM

Paradigm shift – can you detect the architectural change?

by daniel on December 29, 2009

According to Webster dictionary one of the definitions of paradigm is “a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly: a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind”. In our broad technical perspective, it means the underlying ideas and concepts embodied in the system as understood by the engineers. The paradigm is a grand view of the system motives.
A more detailed explanation is presented in Wikipedia with the addition of discussing paradigm shifts. Paradigm shifts are defined as a major change in the perspective and theoretical model of mainstream science. They are disruptive but create new possibilities and new areas of investigation. In our perspective that means that something fundamental has changed, in the ideas, concepts, ways of doing things or common knowledge.

Paradigm shift is an important phase for a system, it manifests itself as a major change affecting the whole perspective and providing a pivot. this pivot can be used for major architectural changes and in turn be a driver for new capabilities or features not possible before.

Since paradigm shifts are rare, it’s hard to recognize them and utilize them correctly. This is why, keeping a perspective to identify them correctly while providing an incentive to pivot on it is crucial.

At the end, it’s about keeping the eyes open for change and understanding the magnitude of change.

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