This article is part of the FlowRepublic series “Becoming a Certified Technical Architect” which covers the different aspects of the #JourneyToCTA and provides you with helpful insights for your personal journey. If you are interested becoming a TA or CTA checkout our elite coaching and mentoring programs on www.flowrepublic.com.
I doubt there is anyone in the Salesforce ecosystem has not yet heard about the almost mystical term Certified Technical Architect, a certification given to someone as part of their journey to mastering their profession. At the time of writing this post, the Artisan Hub shows 192 individuals holding this elite cert and in this article, we are going to explore some of the key benefits they got by going through the process and achieving the certification. Upcoming posts in the series will look at different aspects such as hacking the CTA Review Board preparation, solution design and critical non-technical traits.
Let’s start with my personal favorite, the fact that there’s a lot more freedom. The certification, as you will see later, gets you instant credibility and recognition, and with that comes the freedom to choose what is best for you. Take me for instance, as a consultant I was constantly traveling so it didn’t make a big difference where I was actually living. After a very tough period in my life I decided that enough was enough, I quit my job and moved to southern Portugal. After a break, I decided to only take on challenging projects that allowed me to spend a good amount of time working from my terrace (my colleagues were joking I would be working from the beach, but that’s a different story) and watch my dogs going crazy in the garden.
Long story short, you may not want to move to Portugal, but the cert gives you the freedom to choose not only the best technical solution but also what is best for you, whether this a promotion or more complex projects.
Your presentation skills become very refined and you can communicate even complex materials in a short space of time. Justifying why your solution is the optimal one and responding to what-if scenarios and the impact of these on the solution will become very natural (see Intuition).
“It is by logic that we prove. It is by intuition that we discover” said the mathematician Henri Poincare.
How right he is, with all the expertise and intense practice your intuition has grown and you are able to evaluate many requirements and design solutions on the fly.
It surprises me again and again, seeing fellow CTAs coming up with sophisticated solution proposals including considerations, assumptions, and risks in almost no time. This speed doesn’t mean they run straight to the customer sharing that idea. Instead, they spend less time trying to come up with a solution and more time designing and validating, ultimately delivering better value to your client.
Optimize processes and structures
With all the knowledge and credibility you gain, you are able to support your clients and company better when it comes to optimizing their process and structures such as the setup of a Centre of Excellence, Change Control Board, Release Management, Architecture Review Board. As a German I have to admit, that this is what I enjoy most about being a CTA – imagine 4 German program architects designing the largest Centre of Excellence in the market, what bliss for the four of us.
Credibility & Trust
The cert gives you credibility from the first meeting and is highly valued by clients, employers, and recruiters. Often a single phone call is sufficient to get me the project I want.
Being a trusted expert and being considered an authority often saves you lengthy discussions. I was often brought into projects to act as the project advisor ensuring compliance and governance.
You will have confidence in your decisions, even the challenging ones. Rather than doubting your entire solution, you can focus on optimizing parts of it, delivering an optimal solution.
Confidence does not mean getting cocky about your status, be open to new information and treat others as you want to be treated (see also the “The Non-Technical Traits” in this series)
Show me the money
You might be wondering about the obvious points, knowledge, and salary. We’ll be covering knowledge besides the deep and broad technical knowledge in the upcoming article of this series “Becoming a (Certified) Technical Architect: The Non-Technical Traits”.
Regarding the salary, let’s have a look at Mason Frank’s Salary Survey 2018, which can give us an indicator of the monetary benefits of the elite cert.
A Senior Technical Architect (not necessarily with a CTA) can gross on average 160,000 USD in the US and in the UK somewhat around 125,000 GBP annually. Having a quick search online returns job listings for CTAs in major US cities with up to 250,000 USD. I am not saying you should base your choice of becoming a CTA solely on the salary component, but it is a great benefit for sure. You can get the full Mason Frank Salary Survey 2018 at www.masonfrank.com.
While some benefits like credibility and salary are a result of the actual cert, others like intuition, process optimization, presentation are a natural outcome of the intense preparation and practice and after all, practice is what mastery is all about.
FlowRepublic offers unique mentoring & development programs for aspiring Salesforce Certified Technical Architects by CTAs. Sebastian Wagner, the founder, graduated from and was a key contributor to the renowned Tquila Architect Academy which had a track record of 7 out of the 20 CTAs in Europe.
– CTA Board Review Coaching – coaching to improve success rate of candidates attempting the Review Board
– CTA Mentoring – mentoring program to support high potentials on their #JourneyToCTA
– In-House Academy – we offer tailored academy concepts for Salesforce and Recruitment Partners
For more information check out https://www.flowrepublic.com