Following the success of its inaugural Future Architects program, VirtusaPolaris recently inducted the second batch of potential architects in its core practice. As the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills required by a software architect keep expanding, VirtusaPolaris deems it necessary to spearhead this innovative program to help lead consultants prepare for the challenge of becoming software architects and ease their transition into the role.
Thushera Kawdawatta, vice president –Technology, VirtusaPolaris, is the chief architect of this program. He is entrusted with ensuring engineering excellence, innovation and maintaining global engineering standards at VirtusaPolaris.
“In recent times there has been a shift in client expectations,” says Thushera. “In order to respond to the rapid changes in demand by millennial consumers, architects must be equipped with the appropriate technology and be able to adapt to the shift in paradigm. Hence, the expectation is for us to provide thought leadership to realize their intended business outcomes.”
“This is the responsibility of the software architect who is the key person on a project entrusted with providing a comprehensive solution to re imagine their business. Their job has always been one of epic responsibility but with these changing requirements and demand for quick turnaround time we needed to equip the future architects with the knowledge and soft skills required to take on these challenges,” he adds.
The program developed in collaboration with the Talent Development team at VirtusaPolaris consists of four assignments, soft skills development training and one ultimate challenge delves into simulated client problems based on real world situations which may be solved in many different ways. This means candidates must accurately assess the situation and decide the best path to follow in order to fulfil client requirements.
“Before enrolling for this program, I only had a vague idea about the responsibilities of an architect. Not only did this program enable me to learn how to technically perform these responsibilities as an architect, it also groomed my soft skills,” says Thilina Kularathna, a participant of the Future Architects program who is now working as an associate software architect at VirtusaPolaris. “Now I realize how important the training is as it made my transition to the role of an architect so much easier,” he adds.
During the course of the program candidates will present their solutions to a panel of judges made up of senior software architects who will then evaluate each solution and provide candidates with feedback on their strengths and weaknesses, in the solution as well as the presentation.
“A core value at VirtusaPolaris is passion. This program helps us identify those individuals who are truly passionate about their work and are willing to step out of their comfort zones, as the assignments have to be done in tandem with their regular responsibilities,” says Nishantha Hettiarachchi, senior architect – Technology at VirtusaPolaris, who is one of the panelists.“Ultimately, this program will fast track the participant’s career progress while identifying individuals who truly deserve to be in leadership positions,” he adds.
The six month program is specifically designed to develop the expected skills of a software architect through mentorship, a series of assignments, continuous evaluations, and feedback.
In this process the evaluation panel will not only expect the solutions to be technically brilliant but also for them to be pitched to the panel like they would to a client in real life. This is often the last mile whichdefines a capable software architect.
“I wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone who wants to become a software architect. It fully prepares you for the task of being a key solution provider to a client,” concluded Thilina.