Solution Architect: Skills

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Such as with conventional architects there is no right and wrong decisions while constructing a solution. The combination of all of the decisions made throughout the project results in the success or failure of the final product being able to pick a certain approach or another can be compared to conventional architects picking a certain architecture style for a certain arch or a certain paint colour, decisions that can’t be fully defended/justified while the project is still in progress. Being able to make such decisions requires a certain set of skills that combine multiple disciplines. I compiled a list of the skills I believe should be available in a solution architect.

 

  1. A broad cross sectional knowledge of the industry s/he is designing solutions for.
  2. Attention to details while being keeping an eye on the bigger picture.
  3. A Strong sense of business and market requirements.
  4. Ability to abstract the requirements to design generic building blocks.
  5. The ability to make confident decisions ( or seemingly confident ) in murky situations.
  6. Out of the box thinking that’d allow him to reuse existing building blocks in none conventional ways.
  7. Ability to document a design in a clear form that can retain the details without being too confusing.
  8. Communication ability with both business as well as technical stakeholders.
  9. The ability to conduct cost benefit analysis to be able to triage the requirements.
  10. Broad knowledge of the technologies being used within the industry he is designing for.
  11. Flexibility to evolve and pivot his design as needed yet the resilience to resist development requirements that  do not add value.
  12. Sales ability to be able to sell the design to the developers and the solution to the requester.

Some nice to have skills include :

  1. An attractive projects portfolio.
  2. Ability to construct proof of concepts if required.
  3. A business degree.
  4. TOGAF certification.

 

This is an open list and you are more than welcomed to add to it to do so please comment with the skill you believe should be added to the either lists.