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Solutions Architect certifications and associated roles - fzs - 08-11-2022

Over the last year, many have asked me about how certifications relate to roles and responsiblities within an organization and if they should choose the Solutions Architect certification.

Here's the way I'll put it. A Solutions Architect is ideally meant to be for a 'Systems Architect'. Someone who knows which 1 & 1 to put together to make 2. This know-how comes from years of working in different areas of tech like storage, networks, databases etc.  And a DevOps is ideally supposed be the person that actually makes that possible by doing the development & integration of those 1s to get 2.

If you have been following so far, you would see that a Solutions Architect is more of a hands off role designing the solutions but not necessarily doing the implementation rather supervising it. Granted that nowadays many organizations especially startups have mixed roles regardless of your actual designation or certification, a Solutions Architect has multiple DevOps reporting/working for them where as an SA, you design & oversee implementations.

If have already crossed 8+ yrs of experience in IT in roles that included different areas of tech, then go for the Solutions side as your future with regards to jobs will otherwise be along the lines of Individual Contributor. Solutions side will eventually open up roles into project management and higher executive business roles. DevOps side after those many years would sometimes mean you have to take a step down/salary cut to build up your career again as it's highly competitive and require eyes closed coding skills. But this can be highly rewarding if you are the person that gets satisfaction from getting their hands dirty and actually building things. IC roles will be what you most likely fit into for the rest of your career if you choose this route.

The individual certifications like ML, DB etc. are in it's true form meant for those who are going to be working on the actual implementation, i.e developer/admins. As an Solutions Architect, it will add credibility for you to design solutions in that area but not a requirement since you are only designing the solution, not implementing it.

What are your thoughts on this?