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Move in to architect role..how?

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arctanx
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Joined: 2008-03-09
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I've been a java developer for some time, I'd like to try to transition into an architect type role. Has anyone done that and can share their experience? What are some things I can start doing to make the transition. Also, if someone is not interested in management, what is the next progression up the ladder after developer...sr. developer? architect? Please share.

thanks

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wildhorse
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Joined: 2008-03-23
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I have same confusion as you when I have been working as a java developer for many years. It's difficult to choose to move a management, sr. developer or architect position for me. In my opinion, I will attain different aim if I can only one of them. And I don't know which of them is the best to me. Now I am moving a management position as a project manager in IT department of a medicine company. The responsiblities are managing the development procedure of projects and in charge of software outsourcing for my company. So I think the best position is suitable to you. I do believe you can make a good and upward carreer moving.

sunil_gupta20801
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Joined: 2005-01-03
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For an architect, language does not matter, You have to read the things in depth. An architect build the whole system.Depth knowledge is required.

Myblog: http://sunil-gupta.blogspot.com

free2create
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Joined: 2003-06-10
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Architect is a term that varies from company to company.

Most Architects interact with many people and need some level of
comfort in working with people. Whether that means you'll need to
meet and greet clients, give presentations or just work well in a team
environment that all depends on your company and level of work.

My title is 'Sr. Architect' but honestly the level of responsibility is not
drastically different that when I was a 'Sr Developer'.
What has changed is the scope of the work.
Instead of designing modules or classes I look at the system as a whole.
Instead of working with other developers either on the web or in a team,
I work with the Client, System Assurance. I am more of a generalist now,
and I often wish I could focus more on purely technical issues.

I have a brother-in-law who in my opinion does more of what I consider 'pure' Architect work: dealing technical people; designing software. However, his title is
'Sr. Software Engineer'. Again it all depends on your company.

twosuns
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Joined: 2003-06-12
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Here are some pointers:
a) Learn a programming language at expert level.
b) Learn programming design patterns.
c) Analyze a few open-source projects (for example, apache open-source projects). See how people are designing big projects.
d) Create your own project (could be an opensource project).
e) You are ready to to be a good architect. At this step (after you accomplished step d), if they don't see your value, find another company. Tell them that you are an architect: :)

P.S. This is how I did. This my story.
Good luck.

arctanx
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Joined: 2008-03-09
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twosons, I would like to know more about what you mean by analyze a few open-source projects. Could you explain? What are some of these project and how do I get involved? Thanks!

imichtch
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Joined: 2006-07-04
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Sorry to say but from the content of your question I can only conclude that you have been a java developer for rather short time. In other words you are not ready yet... ;-)
Well, I assume you want to be a "good" architect...

aberrant
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Joined: 2006-02-02
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It IS possible to work as a java developer for as long as java has been around and never have had the opportunity to work in an environment where architecture is taken seriously. Without an environment like that there are only two choices, code monkey and manager. I would encourage you to find a job with the kind of structured environment that allows software architects to be effective. The learn all you can about the postilion before attempting to move up the ranks. Even starting at the bottom gives you an opportunity to learn "how" or sometimes "how not" to architect software.