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New Member

Design/Architect Career Advice

Hi all,

Not sure if this post will be welcomed here since it’s not technical related. Basically I am looking for career advice and couldn’t find a better place

With more than 10 years in the network field (emphasis on Cisco technologies) I have always been working in mixed environment implementation/testing/design/support with design being where I am less experienced. I would like know to look for pure design/architect roles but I have some interrogations;

  • I have some difficulties to understand the difference between design and architect roles, can someone share some tough about it?
  • I really like hands on work, is there a risk that I lose it if I move to a pure design/architect role? In fact I am really afraid to get bored with doing too much documentation compared to hands on work.
  • I am currently studying for the CCDA (as well as learning more security stuff) but would like to open myself to other technologies/vendors. What’s other studying path would you advice ?
  • What resource can I use to learn the design/architect job?
  • Apart of cisco website what website/blogs are using to keep on top of new technologies and learn new stuffs? I am currently following on PaketPushers, PacketLife, Etherealmind

I hope that’s not too much questions and that some wise/experienced design/architect will be able to share some experience with me.

Regards,

Fab

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2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions

Design/Architect Career Advice

hi Fab

i will provide you with some answers from my opinion which might be helpful to you

1 - in big companies such as ISPs design mean doing more detailed and command level design and Architect doing high level of the concept not command level this might differ in smaller companies

2- design and architect work is more focused on concepts and documentation rather than technical hands-on work again this could be differnt from comapny to company in terms of size and specialization

hope this help

Re: Design/Architect Career Advice

Hi,

It is my experience that the Architect has overall repsonsibility for the technology direction for a company.

The designer would look after the actual details of implementing this technology. The designers report to the Architect.

An Architect/Designer would need some or all of the following skills:

- Excellent technical documentation skills.

- Excellent social skills. You need the ability to be able to sell your solution both to network engineers and to non technical managers.

- Experience working across a wide range of industries. For example you may have worked in mining, finance, insurance, health care, etc.

- Be comfortable giving presentations to large groups of people. This includes being able to defend your solution to both technical and non technical audiences. To be able to do this you need the ability to think on your feet.

- Be prepared to spend large amounts of your day in meetings with the vendors, customers and management. Once you move into an Architect's position you would rarely if ever type 'conf t' on a router ever again.

Cheers

Sean

5 REPLIES

Design/Architect Career Advice

hi Fab

i will provide you with some answers from my opinion which might be helpful to you

1 - in big companies such as ISPs design mean doing more detailed and command level design and Architect doing high level of the concept not command level this might differ in smaller companies

2- design and architect work is more focused on concepts and documentation rather than technical hands-on work again this could be differnt from comapny to company in terms of size and specialization

hope this help

New Member

Design/Architect Career Advice

Thanks for your answer Marwan.

Anyone else wanted to share more thoughs on the topics?

New Member

Design/Architect Career Advice

Hi Fabrice,

I've always worked in Enterprise level corporations since entering the Networking field back in 1998. All of the companies that utilized architects were not only experienced in networking but also had solid foundations in the different server environments, SAN environments and Security aspects.

As previously mentioned, in Enterprise environments, the architects did not do any configurations but did present/propose to Senior Management and technical staff, high level designs.

In such a role, yes, you will gradually lose your technical configuration skills but you will gain broader knowledge and be involved in projects in which networking is not a key ingredient.

In smaller companies, the senior technical staff are usually doing this role too or the company hires consulting firms to do the research and design concepts - even with our own architects, we still occasionally use consulting firms.

Cheers,

Steve

Re: Design/Architect Career Advice

Hi,

It is my experience that the Architect has overall repsonsibility for the technology direction for a company.

The designer would look after the actual details of implementing this technology. The designers report to the Architect.

An Architect/Designer would need some or all of the following skills:

- Excellent technical documentation skills.

- Excellent social skills. You need the ability to be able to sell your solution both to network engineers and to non technical managers.

- Experience working across a wide range of industries. For example you may have worked in mining, finance, insurance, health care, etc.

- Be comfortable giving presentations to large groups of people. This includes being able to defend your solution to both technical and non technical audiences. To be able to do this you need the ability to think on your feet.

- Be prepared to spend large amounts of your day in meetings with the vendors, customers and management. Once you move into an Architect's position you would rarely if ever type 'conf t' on a router ever again.

Cheers

Sean

New Member

Re: Design/Architect Career Advice

Thanks to all for your input.

I can definitely see that that architech is not for me at least for a few years (until I get bored with conf t), I also don't have the skills listed above.

As for design it will depend on where I end up working for.

Thanks,

Fab

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