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3 takeaways to boost your enterprise architect career in 2023

Learn from IT leaders' advice for advancing your systems architecture or engineering career.
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One of our favorite topics at Enable Architect is highlighting enterprise architecture careers and providing career guidance. Throughout 2022, our site published multiple articles about technology leaders' daily work lives, including systems engineers, software engineers, site reliability engineers, engineering managers and directors, chief architects, and business architects, to help you chart your career path.

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Below, I share three takeaways gleaned from our community of writers we've had the pleasure of working with over the last year. After you've read their advice about career success, learn more in Enable Architect's top 10 career and leadership articles of 2022, listed at the end of this page.

Architects architect for people

In describing his climb from software engineer to senior director of engineering, Adam Bergstein says his journey was logical. An architect must be like a chameleon to meet the needs of the organization they're innovating for. Not all architects have "architect" in their title, but whether they're called architects, engineers, leads, or consultants, a true architect shapes outcomes for people.

"In business, leadership takes on many different forms. In terms of engineering, it can be demonstrated in three specific ways: product management, engineering, and guiding teams," Bergstein says.

These three areas also apply in other ways. As an engineering manager, Chris Bynum sees projects through from the beginning to delivery, conducting architectural and financial reviews to ensure he's in scope with the business needs. More importantly, he helps support his engineers through 1:1 meetings, working group discussions, and scrum meetings. Team mental health and wellness is a huge reflection of your business. Bynum empowers his engineers to deliver their best work.

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Architects facilitate change

Many people confuse business architecture and IT systems architecture, but they are different practices. Business architects transform business ideas and potential projects that align with an organization's strategies and influence a company's performance as a leader in their market, says Renee Biggs. IT architects contribute to the technology components of business architecture or enterprise architecture.

Both roles innovate to help drive change by understanding an architecture's current state, getting all the right players together in one room to discuss what's working and what's not, and making the architecture better.

Architects shape culture

Finding the right balance between documentation and implementation is part of an architect's job. But what do you do if your culture values performance a little too much, asks Evan Stoner, a senior specialist solutions architect. His advice is to "deliver what is needed." This means uncovering the current needs and designing for them. Change doesn't happen overnight.

The future is uncertain, so architectures are constantly evolving. Software development is a key example, say Neal Fishman and Paul Homan; you must continually redevelop business applications to address new opportunities. But constant change can produce substandard solutions that require frequent revision. Fishman and Homan provide three pieces of advice when architecting for change:

  • Uncertainty is not a primary concern or interest.
  • Uncertainty is complex.
  • When you learn how to address uncertainty, you'll always be one step ahead.

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Wrap up

Architects are like artists. They create and connect dots in new areas and align them in the right way to help good ideas take shape. Engineers help add the color.

Best practices don't start off being "best"; they are shaped over time and experience. That's what architects are for, and this round-up of the top 10 career and leadership articles of 2022 celebrates you and the importance of effective leadership on positive business outcomes.

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Topics:   Career   Leadership   Year in review  
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Marjorie Freeman

Marjorie is the Community Manager for Enable Architect. More about me

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