Anthony Anthamatten

Solutions Architect

This is a very unique role within the software development industry that could be better described in more elaborate ways than I will try to explain.

In the simplest terms, a solutions architect (or some say software architect) has a wide range of experience and skills, from coding different languages, understanding multiple databases, deployment environments, support, and best practices.

A solutions architect has the big picture in mind and can guide a project and advise the team from concept to completion, balancing time, cost, and resources.

Critical Role

Decisions an architect makes like in buildings, bridges, or plane design, have long-reaching implications (and often costly mistakes) long after the job is done.

Take the Leaning Tower of Pisa built in Italy in 1173. They have been trying to fix that building for hundreds of years.

“I have learned from great architects and valuable lessons from terrible ones.”

-Anthony Anthamatten

Experience Required

I have worked on more than 50 successful projects in every industry you can imagine and helped clients achieve success from the smallest project to the largest enterprise apps.

No college degree or certificate will make you a solutions architect. You may be able to conceive something but making the right decisions; understanding the challenges, pitfalls, and economics of what you design only comes with a great deal of experience before you earn this title.

 

“I haven’t met a great architect who doesn’t have years of experience no piece of paper will ever give you. This is trial by fire.”

-Anthony Anthamatten

Avoiding Fads

I cannot tell you how many developers and architects I have worked with who want to do something because it’s the next great thing. Databases, frameworks, cloud this-and-that.

Trust me, tomorrow there will be something new and don’t make decisions because you want to pad your résumé. It will cost the organization long-term when they have to maintain or rewrite it.

“Worked with a couple of talented architects who designed something so complicated it took 5 developers a week to write a page each and they loaded in 20 seconds. I said, that is great if you are looking for a PhD. I rewrote the whole thing in eight hours and it loaded in milliseconds. That CEO doesn’t care if we have monkeys running in the background. It cost him 8 hours instead of 200 and improved his performance by 2,000%.”

-Anthony Anthamatten

Accountabilty & Responsibility

Many Chief Information Officers with an organization were coders at some point in their life. But they don’t do this constantly evolving job anymore like those of us who are in the weeds with it everyday. They rely on their architect(s) and lead developers to give them an honest assessment of what it will take get a project done. 

You must give them the best information you have. Discuss the pros and cons about your choices and help them plan.

I always pad my estimates by at least 25% because I know something will come up we did not see or took a little longer. That is a simple fact.

I hate going back to the boss and asking for more money. At the end of the day, I am responsible and accountable to the CIO, the CEO, directors, and every member of our team.

This is a very important role of a solutions architect. It’s not about you know every technology known to man, it’s about being accountable for decisions you made.