5 ways helping the community can boost your IT architect career
In the previous articles in the series, I discussed some skills developers need to acquire to become successful IT architects. This is the final article in the series, and it discusses the benefits of sharing your knowledge and giving back to the community.
Read other articles in this series on transitioning from a developer to an IT architect:
- 3 lessons for software developers pivoting into IT architecture
- 3 soft skills aspiring IT architects need to develop
- 5 technical skills aspiring IT architects need to learn
- 4 people skills aspiring IT architects need to master
One way to advance your career as an IT architect is by making yourself visible within and outside your organization. Your capabilities and contributions reflect your skills, and your communication and visibility determine how you are perceived within your organization and among your peers in the community.
There are many ways to make yourself visible by sharing your knowledge and creating an impact. I discuss five of those ways below.
1. Contribute to open source projects
If you are not already doing so, creating your own or contributing to other open source projects is a good idea. Open source contributions provide many opportunities to network with like-minded developers, architects, and technologists.
You can learn a lot from the open source community while contributing and giving back to the projects that are meaningful to you.
2. Maintain a social media presence
Social media platforms can help you share, learn, and connect with architects and technologists with similar interests. Posting credible information about IT architecture and related topics on social media sites can also provide good visibility that might give you an edge over the competition in job interviews and help you grow your career. If you do not already have a social media profile, consider creating one and start sharing useful content.
3. Mentor and coach junior technologists
To give back to the community, you can mentor junior developers into becoming better developers and coach senior developers into becoming architects. Mentoring helps you stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends and prepares you to learn what you need to know. Mentoring and coaching also open avenues to interact with people, understand problems in the field, brainstorm new ideas, and more.
4. Write books and blogs
An effective way to share your knowledge and ideas (and learn in the process) is to write about them. A practical way to do so is writing articles or blogs. You can register a domain for your blog, use popular blogging platforms like Medium or Substack, or write for sites like Enable Architect and Enable Sysadmin.
Writing a book is a great way to share your expertise. Writing a book is not an easy task; it requires a great deal of discipline, research, and editing and usually takes a lot of time. Self-publishing platforms have made publishing books in electronic and print formats far easier. Even when self-publishing a book or blog, consider hiring a professional editor to ensure your writing has the high quality that reflects your expertise.
5. Create training courses
Creating a course is a very effective way of learning a technology or topic end-to-end and establishing yourself as an authority on the subject. However, it is very time- and labor-intensive.
Online training portals allow you to create your own training courses and share them for free or sell them in the portal. Remember that you may need to engage content creators and video editors depending on the type and the scale of content you want to create. It also opens up avenues to set up a secondary stream of income.
This article series covered things you need to know to transition from a developer to a successful IT architect, including the soft skills, technical skills, and people skills that will help advance your career. I hope you found this series of articles useful and actionable.
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