Life as a Lead Solution Architect in Tieto CEM
My interest in the art of coding was first sparked when I got a Commodore 64 home computer as a kid. The idea of making a career out of IT first came to me when I was a university student majoring in physics, and I soon switched majors to computer science. Shortly after that I ended up working as a part-time software designer, and I you could say that I am still on that same path today.
Currently I work as a Lead Solution Architect in Tieto’s Customer Experience Management (CEM) unit. I work mainly with our e-commerce customers and I am also the supervisor of our nine-person architect team. In order to thrive in this position, one needs to be knowledgeable in both business and software development. This means analysing business needs and coming up with designs for fulfilling these needs with information technology.
My work includes facilitating workshops, analysing requirements, and designing and creating software solutions. I also coordinate the coding team’s work and make sure the outcomes meet the requirements. Depending on the phase of a project, I may spend entire days at customer’s site gathering and analysing requirements – and on some days I will concentrate completely on developing a solution. Some days our team will work on a sales bid, and every once in a while, I will spend my day chasing a persistent bug.
Customer experience is at the core of our CEM unit. Customer experience is not only about creating great user interfaces, but a first-rate customer experience requires good software architecture, which is something I get to influence with my architectural choices and software development work. Creating an elegant solution that is beneficial to our client – no matter if it is for a large or small problem – is always highly gratifying. Our clients come from various industries, so I get to look at issues from fresh perspectives.
My job is very independent and I can influence my own work. As a solution architect I get to participate in the entire lifespan of a software project, all the way from sales to go-live and support. The versatility and independence of the job can also be a challenge. When your calendar starts filling up, you need to prioritize things, and that’s not always easy.
I believe that solution architects must have genuine interest towards the industry, because staying ahead means continuous learning and actively following the industry. Coding is at the heart of this profession, so if you are even a little bit interested in it, it is a good thing to focus on. It is also a good idea to develop versatile skills instead of focusing on a narrow skill set.
I would highly encourage everybody to join this industry. Its importance is constantly increasing and it offers interesting jobs for many kinds of professionals, not only coders and architects.
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