Oscar Funes

On rethinking my work

November 10, 2020

In the last few months, I’ve been thinking about carrying my position as an architect in the company I work for. I’ve come to realize that I’m kind of a tech lead most of the time.

This means (for me) that I’m actually “solving issues” rather than architecting. What does “architecting” or “solving issues” even means, right?

Well, I usually comment on production issues or ongoing projects in matters that would generally require engineers. Meaning how the code works, or how a specific aspect should be fixed, or particulars of the implementation.

I’ve also realized that I commonly go back to creating solutions based on how I would implement or issues I would see with a given implementation when in meetings or calls.

While I don’t want to be oblivious or indifferent to these issues or concerns, I don’t think that as an architect in a project, or organization I need to be responsible for this.

Instead, I would necessarily be involved in other aspects of the project that allow de-risking a project or asking pertinent questions to account for edge cases or common scenarios that need to be covered.

While none of this situation is inherently wrong and plays well into the “solver” archetype, I want to grow into a more well-rounded architect and grow into a Principal staff architect.

Once I became a principal engineer, it quickly became apparent that my job involved a lot more than closing tickets and writing code to achieve things. —Silvia Botros, On Being a Principal Engineer

During last and this week, I’ve been trying to change how I see or think about problems, and rather than coming with solutions for the engineering team, I’m trying to ask questions for them to go ahead and create a more well-rounded solution.

In a way, I’ve opened my eyes or widened my own perception of myself. But old habits die hard, and while I will fail, again and again, I still have to try every day to change and mold into the behavior I want to succeed.

I want to feel that I’m succeeding at the role I’m currently trying to execute by helping others, setting them up for success, and myself.

Happy coding!

I'm a software architect that enjoys helping people, building platforms, and working in distributed systems at the intersection between people and software.