Architect Series#2 

Journey from Sysadmin to Solution Architect

Architect Series#2 Journey from Sysadmin to Solution Architect

Ramaswamy Arunachalam's photo
Ramaswamy Arunachalam
·Sep 21, 2022·

4 min read

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Table of contents

Previous episode[blog.cloudnloud.com/architect-series1-solut..

Vanakkam! (meaning greetings in Tamil)

Hope you liked my previous episode on Solution Architect. If you missed out/ interested to read, you can read @ link for previous episode.

In this series, I am going to share information on journey from System administrator to Solution Architect. There is no hard and fast approach for the journey. If you talk to a solution architect and everyone will have a different personal path for it. The idea behind this series is for you to use this as a guide and shape up your career path.

My road to Architect

It would be good to start the series with brief note on my journey to architect.

When I started as server administrator, I focused on how it works & why it did not work? This translates to focus on developing in-depth knowledge & hands-on experience. I worked on building & managing the environment based on architecture plan. Then focused on learning other technologies that integrates with server. This helped me to develop breadth knowledge. The next part, I worked was on the automation to improve efficiency, reduce the operational overhead for the environment. Continuous learning & building environments set the strong base for my journey to architect. I had opportunities to work on projects which are not limited to migration,transformation. It helped on gaining wider knowledge on solution design & create documents for the environment that I built.

Do I want to be a Solution Architect?

Now lets move on to an important question "Do I want to be a solution architect?". It is a key decision that you would need to decide before you start your journey. Being a solution architect could be overwhelming & challenging. But that is the excitement, you experience being a solution architect.

My 2 cents on being a Solution Architect.

Focus wider

I cannot emphasize more on developing your skills on breadth. As a system admin, you would eventually have a deeper knowledge on technology that you are expert. Solution architect requires wider knowledge of technologies, so you can incorporate into your design. The key technologies that you can focus are compute,network, storage, database and security. Your deeper knowledge can project you as SME for the platform and your expertise would be needed by other solution architects. So learn wider and deep!

Be a storyteller

I always believe a solution architect should be a good storyteller. Communication plays a vital role as part of this role. Solution architect should be able to sell their solution to different teams of an organization with different level of knowledge.

Don't stop learning

Continuous learning helps to develop & add new skills to your arsenal. Look out for opportunities to learn new skills or sharpen existing skills. Every day new products/technologies are released and learning helps to keep you relevant. It brings world of good and makes your life easier. Learning is not limited to learning new skills but you should also keep-up with latest technology news, blogs,whitepaper & networking with peers.

Know the cost

Any solution designed without optimized cost has big financial impact on the business. This could mean solution works but does not add value to business. Cost does plays as deciding factor when you sell your story.

Grab the opportunity

Apart from the projects that you get assigned, you should be ready to volunteer/ look for opportunity where you could be part of different team's projects to share your expertise/reverse shadow/assist in any capacity. This can be compared to flying hours of pilot where you earn experience which can be used in your projects.

Networking

Solution Architect has to develop a strong relation with different team. Networking here refers to developing relationship with other teams & peers. It is important to understand how they work and what is their requirement. It helps to get a different perspective and deliver solution to what business needs.

Mentor

Learning does not ends with self-development. Mentoring others can help others to succeed on their journey and solidify your skills as well. This is a win-win situation.

We have reached to end of this part. Watch out for upcoming parts and please feel free to reach out to me in case of any questions/feedback.

Happy Learning!

Meendum Santhipom (AKA) See you in my next series!

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