When moving from developer to architect, it is important to identify and address your skills gaps to be more prepared and effective in your new role.
The learning needs can be challenging and complex to identify and address. In addition, many of us just don’t have the time to work on skill development outside of work hours, not because of a lack of motivation but because we are busy and have responsibilities outside the workplace.
Going through this transition isn’t easy, and there’s no quick fix. Learning will take investment in terms of time and effort. But investing in growing your skills will have real returns in the long run if you put effort, time, and patience as you will add new skills and improve the ones you already possess.
So how can you address your skills gaps?
- Seek for continuous feedbacks from your colleagues and manager. Honestly, this is hard to achieve but it is worth the effort as it will help you quickly identify your skills gaps and the growth skills areas. Once identified, you will know where you put your focus and efforts to grow those lacking skills.
- Learn by doing: Reading architecture books and watching architecture videos is important but not sufficient. You need to engage in active learning process by finding ways to practice your architecture skills. For example, even if you are not playing the architect role in your company, look for opportunities to participate in the architecture meetings and discussions, ask questions related to architecture decisions that have been made, hone your diagramming skills by creating and presenting architecture diagrams to your team instead of focusing on design diagrams only. Another interesting approach is to be an active participant in the architecture groups in social networks by asking and answering questions. Consider also to practice your architecture skills through the architecture katas.
- If you don’t have a plan, you should consider seriously to have one to specify the skills you want to learn, the required resources your will use with clear timelines and indicate the progress you are making. You can find here a template with a list of skills and resources that you can adapt to your own needs.