Recently, while interviewing a candidate for a Solution Architect role, the person asked me, “What is the number one top characteristic you look for when hiring?” I thought it was such a great question that many people would want to know the answer to.
At Terra Firma, we interview many Architects and most of them have reasonably good technical skills. What differentiates each person is their ability to demonstrate how they can use their skills to help clients achieve their goals and solve problems. They need to be able to explain this in ways that can be easily understood, which requires great listening skills and empathy. We know every client is unique, which is why our communications and advice to each client is also tailored and bespoke.
So, coming back to the question, what we look for more than anything else in an Architect is the ability to tell a story that communicates how the client can move from their current state to their aspirational future state in a way that is relevant and easily understood.
If you apply to Terra Firm as an Architect then we will give you a business scenario that includes some common issues that require you to explain how you would solve them and what would the resultant outcomes be.
Here is a complete list of the 10 traits we look for in Solution Architects and Enterprise Architects.
- Great storytelling skills. Ability to translate a complex multi-faceted journey into a simple Roadmap that is understandable to clients.
- Stakeholder Management skills. Able to demonstrate an ability to manage conflict through to resolution, consistently deliver business outcomes that exceed client expectations, and establish trust with a diverse set of stakeholders.
- Customer focused. Demonstrated by passion for helping others.
- Trust. Able to rapidly establish trust by conveying integrating and establishing connections between your skills/knowledge and the concerns of your client.
- Deep understanding of business gained from roles focused on assisting the business to improve their effectiveness. These may include business analysis, testing, architecture, audit, teaching/training or process improvement.
- Experience designing solutions to business problems that include utilising latest technologies such as Cloud, Digital, and Big Data.
- Accountable for personally authoring business documentation such as Roadmaps Business Cases, 5 Whys, SWOT Diagrams, Value Chains, Capability Models, Customer Journey Maps, Pain Dot Diagrams or Business Canvases.
- Experience mapping business entities such as processes and user roles against technology orientated entities such as applications, data and integration technologies.
- Comfortable in an environment where you are part of a distributed team with significant ambiguity, change and little direct authority and hence you need to have very good influencing skills.
- Qualifications that demonstrate you have an inquisitive mind and a desire to continually learn.
If you are searching for a new job keep these tips in mind.