insights

My work week as a Solution Architect

January 22, 2020

One of the best things about being a young architect at 6point6 is that you never have the same day, let alone week. I take this as a positive since you are never doing the same thing day in day out, which keeps things interesting. As a budding architect, I was keen to learn new things, develop new skills, be involved in decision making, while contributing to the project/client work and at 6point6 I got exactly that.   

While no week is the same, I thought it might be a good idea to share how a work week brings different challenges and opportunities. 

Client site

I spend most of my work week at the client site. I am part of an architecture team, consisting of colleagues with varying specialisations. I am responsible for creating various architectural views depicting all the components, their integrations and data flows. I regularly interact with other architects and subject matter experts of the team to discuss ideas, call out issues and collectively address them. Recently, I have been working on the architecture for the release of a major business service. It’s about replacing an ageing system and it’s important that we get all the aspects right of these various problems from run-down servers to expensive infrastructure costs. It’s important for me to be involved in these collaborations as it ensures the solution I am creating is right and I get to learn from my colleagues. 

Stakeholder communication

A major part of an architect’s job is to communicate with stakeholders, address their concerns and sometimes balance out their conflicting requirements. You need to make sure that everyone is well versed with the solution and buys into it. This is where my architecture views are extremely useful. This week, my colleagues and I were discussing the performance aspects of our solution with the client’s CTO. Initially, I found it daunting to present to senior stakeholders but soon I realised they too are curious and appreciate good work. Presenting to senior directors on the client site is now a common part of my role. It not only builds trust but gives me confidence that I am part of the right conversations with the right people.

Team collaboration

During the middle of the week, we have our architecture team catch-ups. The aim is for all the architects within 6point6 to regularly come together and discuss a range of topics – providing updates on projects and drawing on the collective knowledge from colleagues. This week, I presented the new technologies and product updates that AWS have released since the last catch-up, which is a personal favourite topic of mine. Another topic we tend to discuss is around any industry events we might have attended, and the key learnings from that event.  

Connecting with colleagues

I ensure that I am back at the 6point6 Head Office (HQ) in St James at least once a week. It gives me a great opportunity to connect with my colleagues and learn about new developments in the company. I might participate in marketing activities such as writing and discussing knowledge articles or participate in recruitment activities. I also use this time to work on some personal and professional development aspects such as training for the next certification I’d like to achieve. This is a key aspect for me as this balances out my work commitments with professional development, which is something that every consultant should maintain. While at the HQ, I also have my mentor meetings, which focus on my work and development objectives and if I need any help.

In summary, here at 6point6, every week is different and I enjoy that I am stretched to succeed in my career and encouraged to think differently. It’s great to be at a company that provides me with challenges and opportunities weekly. These opportunities and challenges present themselves due to a lot of hard work, dedication and trust go into making every week successful.

Get in touch if you’d like to chat to us.

Shahrukh Khan
Solution Architect