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Experience vs Title

Seetharaman Venkatasamy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 5575

Hello buddies,

In my current project I am interacting with french team. I come across some people whose experience is 3+ years , but they are architect in my organization . even they can command my project manager. my experience also 3+ years[but I am a developer]. why this difference between India developer and french developer? one of my colleague said that foreign education is advanced in terms of computer science so they get this advanced title soon. but Indian developer have to wait at least 6 to 8 years to get the architect position. I am looking for some post regarding this discussion . thanks

Note: my organization is well known company
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6662
    
    5

I come across some people whose experience is 3+ years , but they are architect in my organization




You need about 8 years of very good experience before you can call yourself an architect. That said, there are folks who became architects in 5-6 years time, but they better know their stuff. 3 years sounds ridiculous. You can aspire to be an architect when you have 3 years of experience and you can work towards it. Whether you would make a good architect is very questionable. This is because you would have no experience in delivering architecture solutions.

Can you describe what these architects do ? Sometimes the role assigned and the actual role may differ quite a bit. Roles are, at times, offered / created to please people.


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Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
There are bunch of things to consider, e.g. gender, country, education, industry, etc. Moreover, each organization is different. Measuring an individual's "experience" with simple numbers, i.e. number of years, is not a good metric. For example, an individual working 20 years could still possibly not be able to handle a software architect's responsibilites. One could continue to perform terribly and never clearly understand what they are doing, year after year after year.

Aside, you never really "call" yourself an architect, you are either formally given this title by your employer, or you create your own company and use this title to describe yourself in certain situations.

Also keep in mind that consulting organizations use this title as a selling tool, so you may also find individuals that have the title so that their employers can charge a higher billing rate, but they may lack the skills and experience of a "true" architect. They are then only using the title for marketing and then billing.

In regards to the French team and the Indian team, those French architects that can command your project manager sound like they are truly architects. You should not consider them "developers" because they are not. If you know factually that they only have the same number of years of experience as yourself, then they have advanced further than you....that is life. It best to accept this and try to do better. Actually, the IT education in India is more advanced that the IT education in France, with IIT being the most prominent school in the world.
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
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Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Excellent comment Jimmy.
If you are doing the same programming tasks for 10 years, you aren't going to be an architect. and if you are playing the same music piece for years ,you aren't going to be a musician.
One and important step to gain expertise, your activity should change the way you thinking and working.
You know, I don't really care about titles, I just hope that I deserve to be named a programmer one day.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31075
    
232

Is the French company outsourcing to you? Typically the organization that does the outsourcing keeps more of the authority.


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Seetharaman Venkatasamy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 5575

Deepak Bala wrote:
Can you describe what these architects do ?

Well deepak, They analysis the requirement and prepare micro design(LLD) . and they choose the technologies/framewwork for the particular module to implement.
Seetharaman Venkatasamy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 5575

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Is the French company outsourcing to you?

yes, you are right!
Seetharaman Venkatasamy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 5575

Thanks for your valuable responses folks!
Subrata Kumar Prasad
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 06, 2011
Posts: 4

I don't understand why architects are so much glorified in forums :

when it is job which requires lot of skills, hard work and in returns do not pay back in proportion to the hard work and skills(9 out of 10 cases it does not pay in proportion of skills and hard work; exception top product companies),
when there is certain limit up to which architect can grow,
after certain period, it becomes boring.

vs

manager with less efforts can grow faster,
top most position in the company is limit for growth of a manager,
pays you higher and higher as you grow faster in hierarchy,
and also gives you status in society,
and last but not least rarely gives you feeling that you have been fooled, because most of the time you fool others as a manager.
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6662
    
    5

They analysis the requirement and prepare micro design(LLD) . and they choose the technologies/framewwork for the particular module to implement.


This is what a developer in my organization does. It is in fact the minimal expectation. Architects are much more skilled. They know pretty much every technology I talk about. They present whitepapers / suggest products / ideas all the time. These people are also very sharp. It sounds to me like the Dev in the french team is glorified as an architect.

Of course, I say this after interacting with architects with 20+ years of experience. Those folks are really something. Our expectations of what an architect should achieve may well depend on the interactions we have had with them. I would not call the developers with 3 years of experience architects. I would call them intermediate developers.

when it is job which requires lot of skills, hard work and in returns do not pay back in proportion to the hard work and skills


Good architects can earn more than 300k

when there is certain limit up to which architect can grow,


You can be an associate architect / test architect / senior architect / distinguished architect / CTO etc

after certain period, it becomes boring.




Keeping up with technology is pretty difficult. Anything but boring

manager with less efforts can grow faster


Does that statement imply that managers work less ? Really ?

and last but not least rarely gives you feeling that you have been fooled, because most of the time you fool others as a manager.


ummm... okay

Alejandro Casarrubias
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 21, 2006
Posts: 12

Well, that happens often, because:

1) They says "im an Architect", the people who hire arent experts so " im Architects, 27 years, 3 years experience and i ride motorcycles" they will be like "WOW!"
2) they can manage projects but cant develop. So, theyre more like project leaders
3) They are like doogie howser

You need a lot of experience, knowledge about almost everything, infrastructure, weak points, skills, how to fix problems without ask, help people, be rational, work team, work under pressure.

I know many guys who say, "im an arch", but they arent."
The organization depends too, if i have a company, i need money. I prefer to sell archs than programmers(outsourcing)

Work hard, be honest with yourself. And you could become a good architect


Hails from mexico city!


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Subrata Kumar Prasad
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 06, 2011
Posts: 4

Deepak Bala wrote:
Subrata Kumar Prasad wrote: when it is job which requires lot of skills, hard work and in returns do not pay back in proportion to the hard work and skills


Good architects can earn more than 300k

Read again what I said. If you understand it, I would invest more time explaining.

Deepak Bala wrote:
You can be an associate architect / test architect / senior architect / distinguished architect / CTO etc


You missed one. Enterprise Tehnical Architect. All of them fall in one band. CTO is not an architect. I would suggest, first understand CTO means and what architect means. Architect can become CTO, but he/she has moved into management then.

Deepak Bala wrote:
Does that statement imply that managers work less ? Really ?


No!. Really No. Really Really No!
15 years back if you worked on Foxpro 2.0, 2.5,2.6, most of that knowledge has gone waste. Not 100%, but yes lot of that knowledge gone waste. But 15 years back if you worked as team leader, it is still useful and not gone waste.
Deepak Bala wrote:
Keeping up with technology is pretty difficult. Anything but boring

Probably you are yet to work on technology which will eventually become outdated.

All the best to keep up with technology.
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6662
    
    5

Read again what I said. If you understand it, I would invest more time explaining.


That is a subjective comment aimed at suggesting that I cannot understand your comments, which is not the case. It also alludes that I may not be able to understand it even after reading it again. Not nice

All of them fall in one band. CTO is not an architect. I would suggest, first understand CTO means and what architect means. Architect can become CTO, but he/she has moved into management then.


Once again a subjective poke that I am replying in ignorance. Not nice. By the argument 'All of them fall in one band' you could argue that all managers fall under a band. A CTO does not necessarily fall under management. The CTO from my previous Org needed to promote APIs / frameworks / Products and explain them technically. The CTO also weighs in on architecture and technology.

15 years back if you worked on Foxpro 2.0, 2.5,2.6,


You can juxtapose that with waterfall / scrum / kanban and other methodologies that spring up. But yes, technology outdates itself faster than management methodologies.

Probably you are yet to work on technology which will eventually become outdated.


Is there one that will never be outdated ? They would all be outdated eventually.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Some of the postings here fail the "nice" test, and Java ranch is a friendly place.

IMHO, the term "architect" is nearly always misused in this business. It really means "senior person who can give great talks and use the whiteboard" to convince the client/customer that the company is great and that the system will be great. It has nothing to do with actually getting the code written and tested so it can be released, on time and on budget.

Plus, one of my pet peeves is that nearly all IT folks grossly misuse the word. The term is a noun, not a verb.

The term was taken from the building trades. An Architect is the person who designs the building. But unlike in programming, a building architect does not have to worry about every little detail. They say "make an office building with walls and suspended ceiling" and everyone knows that the ceiling will be hung on a grid, usually of 2x4 foot or some metric equivalent. The architect does not design where very ceiling tile will go. He does not design in any detail where the electrical power, telephone or data wires go. Instead, he designs a closet for electrical stuff, and the Electrical engineer specifies how many circuits, switches and lights go on each floor. Even then, the EE does not specify how the wires are run, that level of detail is left to the electrician working the job.

You never can "architect the system to use Apache and MySql". You design the system. Design is the verb, architect is a noun describing a person, not a task.

That said, in many consulting firms, the "computer system architect" is very well paid. I regularly see job postings paying $140,000 (us) on up.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31075
    
232

Subrata Kumar Prasad wrote:after certain period, it becomes boring.

If you believe this, a technology track position likely isn't right for you. To me the best part of the technical track is that it is FUN. Yes, it changes more, but that's why I like it. And an architect needs plenty of soft skills that don't change as often too.
Arjun Srivastava
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 23, 2010
Posts: 432

Jimmy Clark wrote:Actually, the IT education in India is more advanced that the IT education in France, with IIT being the most prominent school in the world.

Now this is the universal truth and fact that world cannot deny.


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Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Jimmy Clark wrote:the IT education in India is more advanced that the IT education in France, with IIT being the most prominent school in the world.

I'll grant you that IIT is a very serious, world-class university. But more prominent than Stanford, Berkeley, or MIT? I'd need proof on that claim.
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Pat, the schools that you mention are from the U.S.A. And from a U.S.A.-only perspective, they are the most prominent schools in the U.S.A.

My statement about IIT was from a global perpspective.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Jimmy Clark wrote:Pat, the schools that you mention are from the U.S.A. And from a U.S.A.-only perspective, they are the most prominent schools in the U.S.A. My statement about IIT was from a global perpspective.

I was talking globally as well. I'll grant that IIT is world-class. but I don't think its justified to state that its the top in the world. I just proposed three that one can argue are equal or better. The French École Polytechnique is also way up there.

I left out Va Tech, where I went, as its clearly out of this world.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19070
    
  40

I once had a similar "debate" (if you can call it that) with a friend -- about what school is best. His response? UNC -- because that's where Michael Jordan came from.

I was smart enough to realize that he was serious, and that I had absolutely zero chance of winning the argument; so decided to cut my losses...

Henry


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Matthew Brown
Bartender

Joined: Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 4490
    
    8

There are a few attempts out there to rank Universities on a global scale. None of them are perfect, though. Here are two I'm familiar with:

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2010-2011/top-200.html

http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2010

You can look up for yourselves where the various institutions mentioned on this thread come.

But then, the main criteria used relate to research performance. Which isn't necessarily the same as measuring the quality of education you get there. So maybe that doesn't tell us much
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Matthew Brown wrote:But then, the main criteria used relate to research performance. Which isn't necessarily the same as measuring the quality of education you get there.

Actually, from what I've found with dealing with US Universities, research performance is *all* that they care about. Its publish or perish. To get promoted, you have to publish. Period. To get hired onto a tenure track, you need to have published and to have a great potential to publish more.

Well, there is another bit to it, to publish, you need grants to support your work and your grad students. So the University also cares about you getting grants, with grants, you can hire grad students, do research and publish. Which brings us back to publish or perish.

No university worries about the quality of education that undergraduates get. They don't care if the faculty can teach. They care about the number of PhD granted, and that means, the number of publications. Back to publish or perish.

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Matthew Brown
Bartender

Joined: Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 4490
    
    8

Oh, I agree. UK universities are the same (I work in one) - at least the more ambitious ones.

There are a few reasons for this, here are a couple (in my opinion):

1. Things might change with the introduction of fees. But at least till now, although there are both research and teaching quality assessments run by the government, only the research assessment actually affects how much money you get.

2. From a fees point of view, the important thing is attracting students. And it appears that students are more affected by the reputation of a university than the quality of teaching. And guess what the most important factor in reputation is, when it comes to league tables etc? That's right, research.

3. Most (not all by any means, but most) academics are in the job because they want to research. As such, research output is what they are most likely to respect in their peers.
chris webster
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Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1873
    
  16

Pat Farrell wrote:
IMHO, the term "architect" is nearly always misused in this business. It really means "senior person who can give great talks and use the whiteboard" to convince the client/customer that the company is great and that the system will be great. It has nothing to do with actually getting the code written and tested so it can be released, on time and on budget.


Well said! I'm still mystified by what all these "architects" are really adding to the process of creating software, or how we somehow managed to create systems without them up until a few years ago. I've worked with some very good "architects" and some very bad ones, but their skills and experience seemed to have very little relationship to their official titles.

Anyway, there's an interesting look at the IT "architecture" industry in this article on InfoQ.

I suspect that part of the reason for the growth of "architects" is that there is a trend towards de-skilling development roles in many parts of the industry, in order to turn software development into a production-line business, where much of the work is done by supposedly semi-skilled labour, under the guidance of supposedly more skilled "architects" and designers. I haven't ever seen this actually succeed in practice, but you have to be impressed with the amount of effort so many companies continue to invest in trying to make it work...

This situation means that many organisations recognise that they can charge more for the skills of "architects" than for developers, while many developers decide that they need to become "architects" if they want to stay in work or increase their salaries. So there is pressure on both sides to create "architects" even if the individuals concerned do not have the experience or skills to fulfil what is often a pretty nebulous role to begin with.


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Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

chris webster wrote: there is a trend towards de-skilling development roles in many parts of the industry, in order to turn software development into a production-line business, where much of the work is done by supposedly semi-skilled labour, under the guidance of supposedly more skilled "architects" and designers. I haven't ever seen this actually succeed in practice, but you have to be impressed with the amount of effort so many companies continue to invest in trying to make it work...


This is going a bit OT, but yes, this "de-skill" idea is ongoing and has been popular for at least two decades. Back in 1990 or so, there was a big push for "fifth generation languages" and "CASE" tools (Computer Automated Software Engineering). Each were claimed to take make knowledge of the Art of Computer Programming (tm Knuth) out of the business. The claim was that more than worrying about the cost of skilled engineers, it was simply impossible to find and hire enough of them, it was a scaling problem. So we could not keep demanding so much of software engineers.

I've seen projects spend many hundreds of millions of dollars attempting to do this. I've never seen one succeed.

IMHO, if you take a bright, smarter than average, CS graduate, and give them the right guidance and assignments, in five years, they are decent programmers, and in ten, they are actually good. You can't make it happen more quickly.
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1873
    
  16

Pat Farrell wrote:Back in 1990 or so, there was a big push for "fifth generation languages" and "CASE" tools (Computer Automated Software Engineering). Each were claimed to take make knowledge of the Art of Computer Programming (tm Knuth) out of the business.


Anybody else remember The Last One?

Actually, I started my career in 4GLs (never did figure out what a 5GL would look like - a big red button saying "Make It So"?), and I have to say that the shift to Java has sometimes felt like a step backwards to a 3GL, albeit a very powerful and flexible one. It sometimes takes months or years now to produce the kind of systems that we used to produce in weeks or months. But that really is another topic altogether.

Anyway, time to start architecting my Sunday lunch. Where's the whiteboard again....?
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1873
    
  16

Pat Farrell wrote:IMHO, if you take a bright, smarter than average, CS graduate, and give them the right guidance and assignments, in five years, they are decent programmers, and in ten, they are actually good. You can't make it happen more quickly.


Well, I've been in development roles for 20 years and some days I actually catch myself doing "good" work, so I guess there's hope for me yet! Unfortunately, I've worked in a number of organisations where they take bright, smarter than average graduates, and after 2 years they try to turn them into "designers" or "business analysts" and after 4 years they're calling them "architects" (the Peter Principle at work). Then they hire grumpy old freelance programmers like me to pick up the pieces...
 
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