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Today I take a stand

arun r mehta
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2010
Posts: 38
Hi everyone here..

I have close to 2 yrs exp as a java developer. I have recently changed my employer. The project which i am working right now is support project for a telecom company based out of canada. Uptill now I have learnt how to fix the defects in ongoing support project and dev environment. However my interest is not into defect fixes. I have real passion for computing and I feel I am good with constructing something rather than fixing the issues. I want to be an system architect. I know this project will teach me a lot in terms of production environment where real issues come up mostly due to unforeseen situation and are mostly found to be weak design/architecture of a software.

Generally every Software Engineer goes though a same dilemma, that is whether to choose a technical path or managerial path in software industry. I know both the paths have their own challenges and problems. Though today I am equally comfortable with managing the things but still my real passion is to be systems architect. I can relate myself more with the role as architect rather than to be manager and manage the project and resources.
Today I take a stand I decide that I want to be a systems architect. Can anybody of you let me know what are the skills required to be an architect. By skills I just dont mean only the platform/frameworks/UML but skills in general. Right now I am good with Standard java, struts framework and EJB(bit of overview), Unix shell scipt, Oracle DBMS, SQL, UML(know how to construct Use cases, Component, Class and sequence diagrams), besides this I know few design patterns like Singleton, abstract factory,factory method, builder. I have to sharpen my design patterns so kindly suggest me good book for that. What are the other skills/soft skills required to be an architect?. Also do I need to be thorough with arcthiture of hypothetical OS and DBMS too ? I know unless you have complete understanding of underlining platform its difficult to build something over it, but how far should we know about the environment of the software?

I was thinking of going for certification SCBCD 5, but I am not sure how far will that help me, please do suggest me whether I should go for certification? Please share experiences also so that shall help me to sharpen my skills.


-arun


Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30076
    
149

Arun,
How much experience do you have total? If two years, it is too early to need to decide whether you want tech or managerial path. I knew at two years, but that's the time to plan internally. The actual activities you do are the same at that point from a work point of view.

I ask this because of the phrase "take a stand." Unless someone is trying to force you down the other track, "taking a stand" doesn't really apply.

Production support/bug fixing is an important skill to have. It teaches you about the ramifications of decisions. Otherwise you wind up an "ivory tower architect" isolated from reality.

On to your question. The SCEA cert is designed for architecture. Having a solid understand/experience with the underlying technologies is key to getting there though. And most good architects keep it as they want the connection/details. As far as soft skills go: communication, planning, analysis of tradeoffs, dealing with people, negotiation. And project management. You'll notice I listed some skills that go for the managerial track. There is some overlap. For one because you need to understand the manager's needs to be effective.


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Sandeep Awasthi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
IMO, management, designing technical architecture and production support are different areas though there is some overlap. You should choose what naturally comes out of you. All the areas need experience and knowledge. But something which matches with your passion/natural skills is easy to achieve.


Sandeep
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9345
    
    2

arun r mehta wrote:Hi everyone here..

I have close to 2 yrs exp as a java developer. I have recently changed my employer. The project which i am working right now is support project for a telecom company based out of canada. Uptill now I have learnt how to fix the defects in ongoing support project and dev environment. However my interest is not into defect fixes. I have real passion for computing and I feel I am good with constructing something rather than fixing the issues. I want to be an system architect. I know this project will teach me a lot in terms of production environment where real issues come up mostly due to unforeseen situation and are mostly found to be weak design/architecture of a software.

Generally every Software Engineer goes though a same dilemma, that is whether to choose a technical path or managerial path in software industry. I know both the paths have their own challenges and problems. Though today I am equally comfortable with managing the things but still my real passion is to be systems architect. I can relate myself more with the role as architect rather than to be manager and manage the project and resources.
Today I take a stand I decide that I want to be a systems architect. Can anybody of you let me know what are the skills required to be an architect. By skills I just dont mean only the platform/frameworks/UML but skills in general. Right now I am good with Standard java, struts framework and EJB(bit of overview), Unix shell scipt, Oracle DBMS, SQL, UML(know how to construct Use cases, Component, Class and sequence diagrams), besides this I know few design patterns like Singleton, abstract factory,factory method, builder. I have to sharpen my design patterns so kindly suggest me good book for that. What are the other skills/soft skills required to be an architect?. Also do I need to be thorough with arcthiture of hypothetical OS and DBMS too ? I know unless you have complete understanding of underlining platform its difficult to build something over it, but how far should we know about the environment of the software?

I was thinking of going for certification SCBCD 5, but I am not sure how far will that help me, please do suggest me whether I should go for certification? Please share experiences also so that shall help me to sharpen my skills.



With just two years of experience you can work your way to a Technical Architect position but definitely none of the companies would offer you such a position given your experience in years. Like the previous post says, having a very good and quick understanding of code written by others (which you normally do in a production support) is vital and will certainly increase your knowledge.


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arun r mehta
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2010
Posts: 38
Thanks Jeanne for your suggestions and inputs


How much experience do you have total? If two years, it is too early to need to decide whether you want tech or managerial path. I knew at two years, but that's the time to plan internally. The actual activities you do are the same at that point from a work point of view.

Yes I have 2 yrs exp. total, but I am sure what I want to do. Yah I know SCEA is architects exam but to be eligilbe for that either I should have SCWCD/SCBCD, I am done with SCJP 1.5 when I was in college.



With just two years of experience you can work your way to a Technical Architect position but definitely none of the companies would offer you such a position given your experience in years. Like the previous post says, having a very good and quick understanding of code written by others (which you normally do in a production support) is vital and will certainly increase your knowledge.

Thanks Jyoti for your suggestions. I am not looking for change of my role. I am software engineer now but aspire to become a systems architect and wanted to know particular skills to be an architect.

Sandeep Awasthi
ou should choose what naturally comes out of you. All the areas need experience and knowledge. But something which matches with your passion/natural skills is easy to achieve.

Yes I too feel the same
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9345
    
    2

Simply put, to achieve the architect role you simply have to have some more years of experience. Architect is not only a technically strong person, but I feel he should also posses managerial skills, to some extent functional knowledge on the domain of his or her expertise.
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30076
    
149

arun r mehta wrote:Thanks Jeanne for your suggestions and inputs


How much experience do you have total? If two years, it is too early to need to decide whether you want tech or managerial path. I knew at two years, but that's the time to plan internally. The actual activities you do are the same at that point from a work point of view.

Yes I have 2 yrs exp. total, but I am sure what I want to do. Yah I know SCEA is architects exam but to be eligilbe for that either I should have SCWCD/SCBCD, I am done with SCJP 1.5 when I was in college.

You are not required to take any exams before taking the SCEA. It is a good idea, but not a requirement. I just took the SCEA part 1 without taking any other exams. But I already have 8 years experience and am working as an architect.
David Newton
Author
Rancher

Joined: Sep 29, 2008
Posts: 12617

Architects without years of experience do not (generally) architect good systems: an architecture must be buildable, must make sense on the domain level, must account for the technologies being used, must account for how the system will be used, must be testable, extensible, and agile. Without a very strong development background it's very difficult to meet all those requirements.
 
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