A technical architect is in charge of defining the overall structure of a program or system. He must act as a project manager, overseeing IT assignments aimed at improving the business and ensuring that all parts of the project run smoothly.
Because the technical architect will work from beginning to end on each project, it’s essential to understand all aspects of each system, both from a business and technical point of view.
This means that a technical architect must have a very complete working knowledge of technologies such as UNIX, Oracle, SQL Server, and TCP/IP. In addition, they must know one or more programming languages.
This position can work in many different industries, from planning the structure of a large-scale patient records database, to redesigning a store’s e-commerce facilities, just to name a few.
A technical architect will most likely be employed in an IT company that specializes in delivering these types of projects to clients, or in a large organization with its own team. It will all depend on the responsibility and level in the company, where he will oversee a part of the framework of a system or he could also be in charge of the whole system.
The technical architect will spend much of his working time in contact with people in different positions, from managers to designers and programmers in the IT department. All this to ensure the project satisfies the needs of the organization and the people who will use it.
Technical architect responsibilities
Many of the responsibilities of this position will be varied. Employers are looking for a wide range of skills.
You will work closely with managers or clients to align their IT requirements and identify the hardware and software that will be needed.
You will need to explain the plans agreed with the managers to the designers and developers, organize the workloads of the technical teams in the most efficient way, monitor the progress of the project, and ensure they are completed on time.
Also, you have to report project progress to managers or clients, perform some of the technical work depending on the level of seniority, verify that IT systems are working as intended, and advise and suggest future developments or projects in the company.
Technical architect roles
Within this job position there are also much more specific roles that fall within the same field:
- Application or software architects: these are the ones who take the lead on individual parts of major IT projects and also carry out technical and practical tasks.
- Solution architects: have more experience than application architects and lead complete and much more complex projects.
- Enterprise architects: have overall responsibility for the IT strategy and direction of an organization.
- Infrastructure architects: lead projects that involve everything to do with hardware and infrastructure equipment.
Jobs sought as technical architects may combine some or all of these roles, depending on factors such as the importance or size of the hiring company.
How to prepare to become a technical architect
To reach this position you must advance in your IT career in order to reach the top position.
An in-depth technical knowledge isn’t a necessity as that is often required more by the people you’ll be managing. However, it’s important that you understand what technologies are out there, like Java/J2EE, SQL, SAP, Oracle, and C#, and what they do.
This leads teams to usually ask for a degree in a significant career, to demonstrate that you have enough technical knowledge to perform well in this position. This may be someone who has studied computer science, computer engineering, management information systems, software development. or business information systems.
It is unlikely that you will get a job in this position immediately after completing your studies. As mentioned above, this is a very high-level position and therefore requires dedicated time and a large accumulation of work experience in the IT sector.
Get your career started by looking for vacancies in areas such as systems development, programming, or testing. You’ll be able to climb the career ladder from there.
Knowledge that is particularly in demand by employers includes systems development, analysis, programming, and testing. It is very common to start working in one of these roles within the industry and then progress to become a technical architect.
It is also required to be constantly updated on the latest software and technology updates, which are relevant and help grow the business and deal with customers.
Depending on the employer, you might be sent on a number of courses, either in-house or externally. These can result in qualifications including: Microsoft Certified Architect, Sun Certification Enterprise Architect, Open Group IT Architect Certification, or IBM Service Oriented Architecture Solution Designer.
Other skills you’re gonna need
In addition, you’ll need advanced soft skills required for the management side of the job:
Anticipate and solve problems: a key role is to see where problems may appear during an IT project and find solutions before they become operational and disrupt the organization.
Communication skills: you need to be an expert at listening, understanding, and explaining concepts to both management and technical colleagues.
Know how to work under pressure: technical architects have a lot of responsibility and must be able to deliver results under difficult circumstances with short lead times.
At WillDom, we know the importance of empowering our clients and we have a client-first business philosophy that places our valued clients at the center of everything we do. With an agile approach and our best software developers and engineers, we can help make your company even more successful.