The Patterns: Theory and Practice
Theory and Practice
Building Architecture
The Greeks did not improve on their knowledge of structure despite their technical knowledge. They did not apply their theoretical approach to internal structure because their focus was on the external architecture of the building rather than the internal living spaces. Greek architecture has endured to the modern day not only through the remnants of their structures but also through the practical and theoretical knowledge.  
Architecture Intensive Disciplines
Technical knowledge in itself does not create good architecture. Good architecture comes from an increasing body of theoretical and practical knowledge. What should endure the longer - theoretical knowledge, practical knowledge or the product of construction? The lifespan of software applications and the life cycles of software development are decreasing. Some web applications are designed to last only a few weeks or less before they are discarded or re-engineered. One of the failings of rapid application development in knowledge transferral and retention. If documentation is to be discarded, there has to be a vehicle for knowledge sharing in its place. If we are to build and re-build systems over and over again in increasingly lesser time, we need to value knowledge. Theoretical knowledge captures patterns of best practice and defines the "what". Practical knowledge defines the "how" and is important if we are to learn to do things better rather than simply repeating mistakes.  
Case Study A: Large Corporate IT
One of the goals of the mentorship program was to establish an architecture team that would continue the work. It involved not just transferring practical skills but also theoretical knowledge. Six months after the project, it was encouraging to hear that the software architecture (templates and source code library) were still in use. More encouraging was the relationship with members of the team who continued to build on the knowledge they had gained.  
Case Study B: Small Commercial Team
The success of a project or team is measured in the relationships built - whether they last long beyond the project comes to an end. This case proved no different. The project ended but relationships were built.

Ironically, the new owners have a different value system. The only acquisition of interest was the source code. No time was allocated for a technical hand-over. Thus the source code is being acquired without theoretical or practical knowledge being transferred. It is assumed that all the knowledge required can be gained from the source code and documentation rather than from the people who built it.