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Architecture Career Path

Santiago Bravo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 25, 2008
Posts: 226
Hi All,

I'm looking for some general advice and resources about the architecture career path. I know there are different types of architects such as an enterprise architect, software architect etc.

Can anyone who is an architect give some advice on the types of technologies I should be looking into and any specific certifications?

Is there a demand for roles in architecture and is the pay bracket higher than a programmer?


Thanks

Santiago
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Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
The comments below are my opinion and no doubt others will disagree, but here's my advice.

Santiago Bravo wrote:I know there are different types of architects such as an enterprise architect, software architect etc.


I don't believe there are different types of architects, just different titles.

That's not quite true. There are hardware architects, software architects, and infrastructure architects. Certainly those designing an mp3 player, a grid computing cloud, and enterprise software all have different skills. And a handful of big corporations have roles like the chief architect role Bill Gates held. Realistically, IMHO, software architect, enterprise architect, solutions architect, etc are all the same thing. The only different is are you building a trading platform, a social networking site, NOC, etc.



Santiago Bravo wrote:
Can anyone who is an architect give some advice on the types of technologies I should be looking into and any specific certifications?


You will need EE skills if you want to build mp3 players, telecom if you want to build NOCs for the telecom industry, financial knowledge if you want to build trading systems, etc. So pick the technology that is in use in the industry you want to work in.

Architect certifications aren't worth the paper they're printed on. People become architects by being good software developers who can envisions a large system, understand how to design them, and can communicate that vision to a team. Experience is the most important tool.



Santiago Bravo wrote:
Is there a demand for roles in architecture and is the pay bracket higher than a programmer?


There is demand for architects, but given that there are typically more software developers than architects on a project the number of openings are fewer. Pay is "higher" but only in the sense that architects are more senior; it's important to understand that an architect is a programmer, but one who works at a higher level.


--Mark
Santiago Bravo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 25, 2008
Posts: 226
Thanks for the reply Mark,

So essentially to become an architect, work at software development and understand the design, development and deployment of large systems. Also getting related experience.

I thought that the Architect Certification - SCEA - would be good to have for this career path?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Exactly. If you think about those who build cars, no one designs a whole car after a few years, they first work on teams designing subsystems and then slowly move up and own a subsystem, and finally move up and own the car design.

As for certifications, others will disagree, but I find they don't carry much weight. Certainly at the architecture level it won't make much difference because at that point you've had enough experience doing and don't need a piece of paper to prove it. But if you think it would help you learn, then do it.

--Mark
 
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