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What portion of your work hours is devoted to real architecturing and designing?

 
Farbod H Foomany
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I wonder what portion of your job has real architectural nature if you are SCEA or in general architect? and do you develop and whatever it takes in the rest of your time?

Best Regards
Farbod
 
Theodore Casser
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It depends on the week for me.

I'm also a line-of-business developer in my company, so there's weeks where I do no architecture work at all, but concentrate on writing code. And there's weeks where all I do is design. I'd guess I spend about 15-25% of my time in any given month doing design work, with about 60% of my time being coding and the rest being support/QA tasks.

The number of hours where I'm tasked with architectural tasks has gone up since I passed the SCEA - I think a good deal of that is my company trying to put my proven skills to work, but some of that might also be my seeking out the challenges due to my own increased confidence in my ability to design a coherent solution.
 
Farbod H Foomany
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Thank you.
I hope I can get other people's feedback too.
As I had guessed despite being an architect you should still do a lot of development. Otherwise you should work on several projects simultaneously.

What do you do when you don't have access to the required skills in the region? For example I think it is easier to find .net web developers than JSP developers in many places. I think you should be able to develop yourself if you can't find resources.

Thank you again.
Regards
Farbod
 
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
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I find I often get contracted to architect a solution, and then stay on the project and work as a mentor as the solution is developed. It's certainly great to be able to watch what you have architected get built, and be there when any problems arise (not that that ever happens, of course).

-Cameron McKenzie
 
chris zielinski
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I have been doing architecture work now for a few years and in my line of work I seldom code anymore. I would say close to 80% of my work is full time hands on architecture. The rest 20% typically gets sucked into mentoring and process improvements.

I however am architecting solutions concurrently for upto 5 projects at once.

Much like the focus of the SCEA part 2, the nature of my work is typically requirements gathering/analysis and high level design. My end deliverables are a slew of UML artifacts and a detailed requirements document including use cases.

I really do miss coding, but there is lot to be said for setting product direction before anyone gets to even write 1 line of code and to look at all the non-functional aspects.
 
Theodore Casser
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Originally posted by Farbod H Foomany:
What do you do when you don't have access to the required skills in the region? For example I think it is easier to find .net web developers than JSP developers in many places. I think you should be able to develop yourself if you can't find resources.

That's not always feasible, to do the development yourself if you can't find the resources. You're usually left with a few options:
  • Outsource to obtain the required skillset
  • Develop talent internally
  • Alter your design to accommodate another technology
  • Design the system to be relatively technology-agnostic to begin with

  • Generally, where I've been involved, I'm designing solutions for a known team to develop, which means that I generally know the skill set that is present on the task before I even start mapping it out. (So I don't end up creating a design that assumes Java EE 5 when it's going to have to be done in a .NET environment.) In those cases where we've not had the required skills, someone on the team generally has volunteered to learn the required skillset (which would be, for example, how I ended up learning C#).
     
    Farbod H Foomany
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    Thank you all. I learnt a lot from your answers.

    Being an architect is good, if you have your team and resources. And if you have acceptance and credibility among the team. The other thing I always think about, and I think it is true about management, is that you should have credibility and I suspect that you can have credibility unless you know the job. So I think despite all the things said about the difference between architecture and development, I reckon that the path to architecture is through development, and you have to continuously update yourself. I see many people in the workplace who lose their credibility as leaders by losing their knowledge about details of the process.
     
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