My last blog entry is quite a while ago… November 2011 after my two sessions and Track Ownership at TechEd Europe in Berlin. Indeed now that the Austrian Big>Days 2011 are over and some people were wondering and asking my colleagues why I was not part of that road show it is a good time to comment and try re-starting with blogging efforts again.

Simply put I was not part of Big>Days 2011 because I am not part of the department at Microsoft Austria which is responsible for this road show, anymore. Back in June 2010 I made the next step in my professional career by moving from the Developer & Platform Evangelism Group to Microsoft Enterprise Services for becoming a Senior Architect. I decided to take this step because in such a role you can become a strategic trusted advisor for the C-level of the largest customers of our country… and I had the chance to take on this role for one of the few really international customers we have here in Austria until May 2012 for a large re-engineering project from host-based legacy applications to a business-driven service oriented architecture.

Given that engagement it was simply impossible for me to leave my customer in a critical phase for 2 weeks and join Big>Days as a speaker. At the same time I see myself growing as an architect in a lot of areas, especially communication across hierarchies, social dynamics and becoming a better negotiator between stakeholders helping them with prioritization and the like… all attributes that are much too underestimated by many architects in the industry very often.

When I see the skillset that I require in my current role it goes way beyond the comprehensive experience and knowledge I was able to gather as an architect evangelist before from the pure content-perspective (SOA, technical stuff etc.). The overall skillset that you typically require as an architect I see from my current and past engagements include:

- business-IT alignment
- alignment of IT with organizational strategies
- communication across hierarchies (up, down, horizontal)
- negotiation-skills to balance across stakeholder-requests, business-requirements, non-functional-requirements, strategies and the like
- technical breadth for being able to select appropriate technologies for a broad range of requirements
- technical depth in some areas to be able to understand implications of architecture-decisions

That is my own current view based on my recent experience. I think that view reflects pretty good to what is required from industry certifications on architecture such as the CITA-P as conducted by IASA.

Also given this I’ll try to share my experience from all that work in future blog-postings from all of the areas mentioned above. Given this you’ll find a mixture of sometimes more technical and sometimes less technical but more role-specific blog posts. I can’t say how often I will be able to blog, but I definitely want to continue blogging more often. Let’s see how it will work…