6 years, 10 months ago

Better positioning architecture resources in the employment market.

Link: http://theknowledgeeconomy.anorien.com/2014/06/10/better-positioning-architecture-resources-in-the-employment-market/

Surveying current architecture roles in Australia reveals an explosion of numerous, confusing and frequently ambiguous job titles. Over a 30 day period a staggering 71 different job titles emerged with some probably being missed.

Many of the roles advertised were seeking similar skill-sets but used different wording in their titles. Others, when looking at the associated job description, were ambiguously titled.

This would suggest that there were not in fact 71 different skill-sets being sought and indicates a major issue in both identifying and advertising for architecture resources.

.Net ArchitectEnterprise Architect (Amazon Web Services)Salesforce Technical Architect
Application ArchitectEnterprise Information ArchitectSAP Business Architect
Application Solutions Architect – MobilityEnterprise Solution ArchitectSAP Solution Architect
Architect – Contact Centre AvayaEnterprise Technology ArchitectSecurity Architect
Architecture ManagerHead of ArchitectureSenior Architect
BI ArchitectICT Facilities Technical ArchitectServer and Storage Technical Architect
BI Architect – MicrostrategyInformation ArchitectSharepoint Architect
Biomedical Solution ArchitectInfrastructure ArchitectSolution Architect
Business ArchitectIntegration ArchitectSolution Architect – EDW
Business Capabilities ArchitectIT ArchitectSolution Architect – GIS
Business Process ArchitectITIL ArchitectSolution Architect – Geospatial
Chief ArchitectJava/J2EE ArchitectSolution Architect – Healthcare
Citrix Solution ArchitectJunior ArchitectSolution Architect – Oracle eBusiness
Cloud ArchitectLead ArchitectSolution Architect – Unified Communication – CISCO
Customer Solution ArchitectMicrosoft Business Intelligence ArchitectStorage Architect
Data ArchitectMicrosoft Cloud Technical ArchitectSystems Architect
Data Solution ArchitectMS Dynamics ArchitectTechnical Architect
Data Warehouse ArchitectNetworking Solutions ArchitectTerradata Solution Architect
Database ArchitectOSS Solution ArchitectTIBCO Solution Architect
Enterprise ArchitectPayments ArchitectUCS Architect
Enterprise Architect – ApplicationsPortfolio ArchitectUI/UX Architect
Enterprise Architect – InfrastructurePre-sales Network ArchitectVirtualisation Architect
Enterprise Architect – Infrastructure PortfolioPrincipal ArchitectWeb Application Architect
Enterprise Architect – Marketing Business DomainProgram Architect

The plethora of advertised titles leads to both confusion, with the potential for:

  • Employers to miss the candidates they wish to target and
  • Candidates to miss seeing real opportunities.

Anecdotally there is a perceived hierarchy of architectural skills with roles including the word ‘Enterprise’ expected to attract better skilled applicants. Applicants can also at times use word combinations in their own titles, sometimes erroneously, to put themselves in a better light when presenting themselves to potential employers.

This hierarchy, whilst perceived, does not really reflect the value that different architectural skill-sets provides to the business community.

An Enterprise Architect is demonstrably different to a Solution Architect but is not necessarily better. Which skill-set the employer needs is dependent on their requirement. The business with the wrong skill-sets will not prosper as well as the one with the right skill-sets.

The architectural community tends to be broken up into 2 key dimensions.

  • Those with breadth of knowledge and experience,
  • Those with depth of knowledge and experience.

Breadth and depth are not mutually exclusive.

The degree of breadth and depth provide an indication of scope and focus that the architect can bring to the business.

Analysing the roles advertised, many of the role Descriptions were clearly similar, even though they had different titles. Some roles were mis-aligned with their descriptions leading to further confusion.

Roles, such as the ‘Virtualisation Architect’ and the ‘Citrix Solution Architect’ with specific product knowledge, obviously being closely aligned but differing in their required breadth and depth of knowledge.

Role titles including the terms:

  • Junior
  • Senior
  • Principal
  • Lead
  • Head
  • Chief
  • Manager

all evoked expectations of the degree of knowledge or responsibilities required by the applicants.

The architecture community would be well served by devising a standard ontology and associated nomenclature that supports the architecture skill-sets on offer.

Defining roles and providing supporting position descriptions would be simplified if there were a common base from which to work. Doing so would provide prospective employers a more useful tool to support resource identification and acquisition whilst providing architects with a more focused approach to describing their skills and positioning themselves in the market.


Suggested Ontology for discussion

An ontology with an associated nomenclature allows the skilled resource to be simply described. Describing roles consistently by focus, breadth, depth and responsibility would provide requisite clarity.

Incorporating families of architecture skill-sets within the ontology such a Business Domain Architect and Technology Domain Architect would provide a an indication of skill-set segmentation, focus and scope.

A suitable and agreed ontology and nomenclature would provide a mechanism for:

  • Architects to better manage their careers,
  • Architects to provide improved clarity to the market of their architectural focus, knowledge and skill-sets.
  • Businesses to better describe and source the skilled resources they require,
  • Recruiters to better target and assess suitable candidates for the roles advertised.