A young Technologist had approached me recently with a very genuine question – “I have decided to make my career in Technology and would like to grow as an Architect. What would be the learning path for me?”… The same question many of my young friends in the Technology field keep asking and looking for concrete answer motivated me to write down my thoughts around this important topic. I am evolved and still evolving as an Architect over the period of time, I did not have concrete plan in front of me when I started my career but I did observe, absorb, adopt, adjust and evolve on my own and with help of my wonderful mentors. Corporates are becoming huge and complex these days and finding such wonderful mentors who can personally spend time and guide for individual’s success is becoming difficult now (though not impossible).
When it comes to learning, Architects and Technologists have tough task due to dynamic nature of Technology around them. In their organization, can they be successful just based on their Architecture and Technology skills? Answer of this question depends on size and culture of the organization. In few organizations, Architects can be focused only on architecture concepts and Technologists can be focused only on technology . They can learn new architecture paradigms / technologies on their own, apply those to problem statements, play individualistic role, care about self and small teams and be successful based on Technology competency. But what if we talk about other organizations where other necessary qualifications in addition to Architecture / Technology expertise matter for personal growth and organizational success? How can they cope with the pressure around them, learn required skills, define road map for success and achieve quantifiable goals?
Obviously success is a relative term and I am not trying to define what it means. Every Architect can have different definition of success. I have seen people being happy working in same role, same technology and same group for ages and as far as person finds the work interesting and if organization gets benefited by the work of this individual, person *can* call it as success.
But what about the Architects and Technologists who are beyond such category and look for other attributes as their personal capabilities and qualifications to grow in the organizations and accomplish measurable goals?
Here is an attempt to define learning pyramid for Architects and Technologists which can help them achieve measurable goals over the period of time.
|Basic Competency Skills|
|1. Technology competency and Engineering practices|
|2. Time management and multi-tasking|
|3. Communication and Collaboration|
|Skills which can be gained through gradual progression|
|4. Client advocacy and Trusted partner|
|5. Networking and Relationships|
|6. Economics and Political science|
|7. Negotiation and Persuasion|
|8. Specialization and Personal Brand|
|9. Leadership and Mentoring|
|10. Introspection and Self goal setting|
Considerations for the Learning Pyramid:
1. The learning pyramid has many attributes but I did my best putting the related ones in 10 separate buckets.
2. Architects can achieve these qualifications in sequential / hierarchical manner or they can prefer to achieve those in parallel. Or group relevant ones together and focus on those.
3. They can do base evaluation and plan their roadmap. Baseline for survival and for achieving meaningful expertise is provided for reference only.
4. In no way we can provide these required skills in quantitative form. I have divided learning path in active learning and passive learning categories again for reference only.
5. Active learning is on the job with technologies, people, internal-external stakeholders and systems whereas passive learning is on own which can be reading, learning, evaluating, planning, etc.
6. I personally prefer active learning as it is more effective and helps learn in real environment. I have provided tentative breakup but Architect can fine tune their efforts breakup based on existing baseline, availability of resources and other relevant circumstances.
7. The learning areas are self-explanatory and hope Architects and Technologists find it useful.
8. If any of the point mentioned in the pyramid is not clear, please feel free to post a query and I would be more than happy to provide my point of view.
So what you think about this ‘Architects and Technologists Learning Pyramid’? Do you think any other skill is must? Please let us know!