What does a Solution Architect do?

by Neeraj Sujan

Dear Reader,

Are you a software engineer or do you work in a software company and wonder, what does a solution architect do?

It was by accident, I came across the role of a solution architect. A solution architect is someone who needs to have a broad range of skills. Let’s discover some of these skills.

  1. Technical Competency: A solution architect is someone who needs to have a complete overview of the different solutions a company provides. One could be a generalist solution architect or a specialized solution architect.
  2. Ability to ask good questions: A solution architect is usually someone who is involved in doing many discovery calls. In order to provide an appropriate solution, a solution architect needs to ask good questions. But more important than asking questions, one needs to have the patience to listen carefully.
  3. Demo/Presentation skills: After the discovery phase, there is usually a demo phase where the solution architect needs to demonstrate the company’s solution and how it can solve the customer’s problems.
  4. Storytelling skills: It has been researched that humans pay careful attention to well-crafted stories. In order to give convincing presentations, one needs to develop the ability to break down a technical presentation in the form of a story.
  5. Persuasive writing: In order to communicate with clients and convince customers to believe in your product, you need to have good writing skills. The ability to write white papers or case studies can be very beneficial to convert a prospect to a lead.
  6. Public Speaking/Technical Evangelist: This is by far the most crucial skill that can shape your personality. You are the spokesperson of a product or a solution and you need to convince people how this product solves complex business problems.

In this post, I will focus on the technical aspect of being a solution architect. Having technical expertise involves translating features of technical solutions into benefits. Customers’ don’t buy features. Customers are more interested in benefits. Saving money, increasing efficiency, reducing losses, keeping the employees happy are some of the benefits a company usually strives for.

In order to be abreast of the latest technological advancements, below are some resources that can help you stay technically sound.

  1. White papers
  2. O’Reilly subscription
  3. Podcasts
  4. Blogs
  5. Papers with code
  6. Twitter

I hope you enjoyed this post. This is my first post and with this, I hope to transition into the role of a solution architect. As I make new discoveries and acquire new skills, I will share those with you.

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