Architects versus Software Engineers

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Architects versus Software Engineers

Recognize the differences: Architects versus Software Engineers

What talent do you use to bring your projects to fruition? When do you deal with an Architect and when do you work with a Software Engineer? None other than Yannick van Eldik (CaseNine) and Raimond Brookman (Info Support) can explain this to you in detail.

Architects and Software Engineers: how do these roles differ?

Yannick: "You notice the differences in the activities in which individuals are involved. For the development of a feature, you use the talent of an Engineer. For a project, if a route has to be mapped out or a technique has to be figured out, you have to deal with an architect."
Raimond: "An architect in IT is concerned with laying down the main structure. What should the software solution look like with the emphasis precisely on the big picture."

What steps do you go through to find the right architect?

Brookman: "We map out what products and services are provided and link to this the question of how to organize this on the internal side. This analysis is therefore mainly about the business side of the organization. On the other side, we map out what IT support is needed for this. That means answering the question: what systems are needed and what underlying infrastructure is required for this. Then repeat these steps for the strategic, tactical and operational areas of the organization. In other words: the slightly longer term versus the shorter term. In this way you already have twelve focus areas in which you can work with architecture. In practice, you also involve the mission, vision and strategy of the organization. That determines how you want to shape the organization across the aforementioned domains. We call that the Enterprise Reference Architecture. Those initiatives are often the change initiatives. For this, we set up a slightly more detailed plan: the Solution Architecture. The next step is even more concrete and splits into two. On the one hand, the design of the organization and on the other, the software architecture."

What advice do you give to organizations looking for a Salesforce Architect?

Yannick: "Don't go looking for 'an architect' right away. Instead, present your business case and present the actual question. Only then is it possible to find the optimal profiles to go with it. After all, as Raimond just pointed out, there are different types of architects. Each talent has different, unique skills. So present the question as well as the business case."

Raimond adds: "In practice, you often find that organizations are looking for a person who has all the talents. This is extremely difficult and can cause unnecessary frustration. You just saw it: there are different types of architects. You can recognize a good architect by the fact that he or she looks at both the long and short term. Also, the architect always includes the organization's business goals. The plan must also be tailored to those goals. Also, a good architect can make a connection between Developers on the one hand and non-technical stakeholders on the other."

What characterizes a CaseNine Architect?

Yannick: "A CaseNine Architect works across technology. They have a specialization in Salesforce, but their background and training allows them to work with the other technologies that organizations often have."

Want to know more? Watch the video with Yannick van Eldik and Raimond Brookman.


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Yannick van Eldik


Yannick van Eldik is a co-founder of CaseNine. Moreover, Yannick is closely involved in both sales and content projects. He helps organizations to optimally set up Salesforce solutions, but also acts as a discussion partner for strategic issues.

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