Wanna Be a Solution Architect but... Where to Start From?
Being a developer or, even better, a senior developer, is a good starting point to become a solution architect. But, of course, the transition from dev state to arc one implies some changes in the ways of reasoning
Surely a solution architect focuses more in modeling than in lines of code, and terms like n-tier, design patterns immediatly become his or her bread and butter
Fortunately an architect can spend time studying these concepts because he/she doesn't suffer so much the pressure to finish certain component the business is waiting for, because he/she's not a developer anymore. Now, he/she suffers the pressure to finish certain component modeling, because the developer is waiting this modeling in order to code the component, because the business is waiting for it (welcome! :-D)
But being more optimistic, the question is, what should I think different to raise the bar and become a solution architect? I want to recommend a webcast for starters, and also for those who think they have already started (but who are going in the wrong way :-D)
This webcast is presented by Joe Hummel, an associate professor of computer science at Lake Forest College. He starts with a description of the new concept in desktop applications: the smart client. Its benefits over traditional desktop applications and over the web apps themselves (in terms of security, deployment, data access, performance, etc)
Then he explains the concept of n-tier applications, being the smart client a special case of this kind of applications. N-tier architecture implies lots of benefits but at a cost of new complexities. So Joe goes over them, unleashing them and explaining the major decisions and trade-offs arising out there
This webcast is an excellent starting point for anybody who wants to know what's ahead on the way from a developer to a solution architect. If you want to take a look, come in and see