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Become an architect or goahead with latest technologies? - Based on UK Job market

 
Muthu Krishnan
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I have got 5 yrs exp in Java/J2EE and have done my SCJP 5.0
I would like to set my next target as SCEA, but, before that I am not sure how far its good for my career becoming an architect. When I went through some job sites (UK Job sites), I could see more of Spring, Hibernate jobs in demand seeking for Java Developer/Analyst/Senior Developers. But for technical architects, I could see very less jobs. Moreover the salary also are almost same. I am in dilemma on what to choose next as my career path. I have got 2 options, one to do SCEA and become an architect Or learn current technologies in market like spring, hibernate and go on with it.
As for my interest is concerned, I am open to both of it, and I look to choose either of this based on good remuneration and high job availability. Also please advice on other options like becoming Integration specialist, SOA architect, MOM specialization.
I have worked on these areas, but want to choose a specialization now.

I understand that there are differences between being a specialist or architect and being just a senior developer working on latest technologies. But, if I see the job market in UK, both are paid almost same salary and infact jobs are available more for senior developers rather than specialists.

I am posting this topic here because, I would like to get answers from current technical architects in UK and technical architect aspirants.
 
Bear Bibeault
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"java career", please check your private messages for an important administrative matter.
 
Muthu Krishnan
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Yep, the correction has been made. Thanks.
 
Jimmy Clark
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Many of the most important skills required of a valuable software architect have little to do with API, frameworks and what is considered "hot" in the market or latest Google search.

For an architect, leadership skills, public speaking skills, writing skills, and the ability to balance theory and reality are more important that knowing how to create a JAX-RPC web service or having a SCEA certificate, in my opinion. The individual must be able to instill trust and build respect, and be able to teach. If developers don't trust you or respect you, your ability to lead a project will be very weak and your overall value to an organization will be very low.
 
chris zielinski
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Originally posted by James Clark:
Many of the most important skills required of a valuable software architect have little to do with API, frameworks and what is considered "hot" in the market or latest Google search.


Amen to that..

In the last few years of being an architect I get to use Power point and E-mail more than any other technology tool. In the end being a architect is all about convincing people that the approach you are suggesting is the correct one, convincing everyone from the big guys who hold the money to the developers and the end users.

Ask your self how good your soft skills are and if you can live for a few weeks without coding? Can you get others to follow your ideas without you coding everything? Do you understand the big picture of a business problem and not just the technical aspect? These questions should give you an answer to where you want to go long term.
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