Being an application architect is more than what you see. Beyond software development and infrastructure management responsibilities, architects also need to be able to problem solve, stay on top of software industry trends, and understand which strategies will achieve goals. overall business. Due to the education, experience and skills required of application architects, this role is often a managerial position that touches the business side. Yet, if you have the technological knowledge and expertise, becoming an application architect is often a great career development for many IT professionals.
But how does a curious candidate prepare for this type of interview? This is tricky, because the role of an application architect can vary greatly from company to company. It is always a smart decision for an architect to maximize his knowledge of the business to which he applies, including the specifics of the industry vertical, major competitors, specialized business policies and the nature of his client engagement.
However, investigators will still investigate the basic skills of a potential architect using a few general questions related to the profession. Let’s review three Application Architect interview questions that candidates typically encounter and explore their underlying meaning.
What has been your most difficult development project?
Architects must be able to solve problems, and this question exposes the extent of a candidate’s ability to apply architectural knowledge to complex, real-world problems. Architects must be able to identify critical issues, evaluate available alternatives, and seek out the option that meets both the technical needs of the application and the business as a whole. Additionally, a successful candidate not only explains their current process, but highlights ways in which they have improved existing processes that they have inherited.
While this question tests basic problem solving skills, it is also important to demonstrate an advanced understanding of the specific technologies used to solve this problem. For example, a candidate who has successfully solved a complex infrastructure and specifically addressed intermittent API performance failures is more desirable than a candidate who only fixed relatively simple software bugs. Additionally, the answer should generally elucidate experience with specific programming languages and platforms.
What metrics do you typically focus on collecting and analyzing?
Part of an architect’s job is to gather and review the metrics that guide the management of the software infrastructure and to signal the need for updates or fixes. This question helps the interviewer examine a candidate’s competence with information gathering processes and data analysis tools. The employer also wants to know how a candidate gathers the information necessary to understand the life cycle of a project and determine the benchmarks that they will use to measure the performance of the application.
Typically, the answer should begin with an explanation of the types of data an architect has gathered and worked with. However, it’s also important to highlight the specific link between app metrics and business metrics, including data that measures the real value of an app to a business, such as user satisfaction and revenue. Ultimately, an interviewer wants to know if the architect can get the insight needed to help the organization use software to excel in their industry.
How do you deal with difficult developers or other peers?
Architects must be excellent communicators and collaborators. Since application architects are high-level employees, the answer provides a measure of how they interact with groups of people ranging from end users to business leaders. Candidates must demonstrate that they can easily transcend the walls of their development workshops and act as technology-centric ambassadors throughout the company.
Architects must be able to express themselves, build the confidence of others, gain confidence and collaborate in sometimes conflicting business relationships. Now is a good time for a candidate to share brief anecdotes on how to overcome relationship challenges that have led to positive business results. They also shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or respectfully report any concerns they might have during the interview, as this demonstrates the commitment and attention to detail required to fulfill this role.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about the Application Architect role, including specific employment and training requirements, see Stephen Bigelow’s article associated with this tip: “The main roles and responsibilities of an application architect.“