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what are y’alls thoughts on Solution Architects?


I recently was encouraged (and have) applied to a Solution Architect role at my company (large health care corp), but it sounds like I would: - Not be coding much - Mainly be working to help the business make decisions about procurement, or help teams make decisions on what tools/frameworks/approaches to take for a project


also, I’m only 5 years into my career. I worry that if I take a non-coding job now, I put myself at risk of stagnating and not be able to find another job later, even if I’m able to effective at this role in my current corp


I've never worked with or as a Solution Architect as such, and I personally think I would be reluctant to unless they also had a bit of a hands on role. We have a principal engineer that is responsible for the architecture, but he also writes lots of the code (including some of the most difficult), I'd be worried about the decoupling of those two things. That said, project management is a very useful skill, but a separate one from coding, I guess...

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non-coding / delivery-oriented position? I guess I mean

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principal engineer I think is the type of position that I would really prefer. that type of position doesn’t exist (in title/pay) at my current corp, but that’s the type of role I’d like to move towards


if the place is friendly, there might be scope to make it more of that kind of thing...


it sounds like you're being encouraged to move upwards, which sounds like a good and very encouraging thing


my boss and I have a great relationship which is part of the reason I’ve stuck around so long 😄


that's really great 🙂


talk to him/her about this concern. see what they say?


i've heard a good manager is one who wants to grow you and has a plan. it sounds like this person has that. explain your plan and see if they can merge that into how the company progresses people


but then you’ll be over 30 and coding! gasp

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I have, and his stance is: Solution Architects are an anachronism, they’re not effective at doing what they are asked to do (for reasons @danieleneal stated re: uncoupling dev and architecture). But they’re a lucrative anachronism 😅


and that my force of personality might be able to shape it into something that might fit me more and be more effective than others

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I wonder if its about where you draw the line between the tech and non-tech bits. 1. It's really nice having project managers who are responsible for comms and delivery but give the people working on the problems the choice of which tools/tech to use. 2. Maybe it gets a bit sketchy when people are specifying the tools/tech unless they also had to work with them in some way. 3. It then gets good again if the architect is also a leader / principal engineer who grapples with some of the thorniest bits

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@mrevelle I actually can’t picture myself not coding in my 30s+


same, except for some older age since 30s are already happening here


soon entering the 40s and still coding. I’ve met people in their 60s that are still coding and sharp as ever


fwiw I got pushed that way in the old job - see the discussion about ‘glue’ from a few days ago - and ultimately decided that going back to line coding suited me better at this point in my career


I was good at the other stuff and it was much more useful to the business than just me working on code


but it didn’t make me as happy as ‘just’ being an engineer, so I went back to that and I’m much more chill and happy


obv YMMV 🙂


thanks all. this gave me some valuable perspective


Popular essay on this topic (language is a little raw)

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ahhh yes, that’s a great post


afaict anything with "solutions" in title involves the product-company / customer-company interface


anything with "architect" involves sketching out a bigger picture, and pitching it to some decision makers


Becoming an architect or a manager is "career progression", because these roles are a step up in status.


They can be annoying because people don't want to have to retrain: they are completely different in terms of skillset, so they are not really a natural evolution of a programmer.


On this subject (health minister warns, may induce high levels of cynicism)