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.
According to Thushera, there has been a shift in client expectations. 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 to provide thought leadership to realize their intended business outcomes.
Thushera added that it is the responsibility of the software architect who is the key person on a project entrusted with providing a comprehensive solution to reimagine 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
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.
Thilina Kularathna, a participant of the Future Architects program, now working as an associate software architect at VirtusaPolaris explained how before enrolling for this program, he had only a vague idea about the responsibilities of an architect. After the program, he not only learnt how to technically perform these responsibilities as an architect, it also groomed his soft skills.
“Now I realize how important the training is as it made my transition to the role of an architect so much easier”
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.
Nishantha Hettiarachchi, senior architect – Technology at VirtusaPolaris, who is one of the panelists explained that a core value at VirtusaPolaris is passion. This program helps identify 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.
Ultimately, this program will fast track the participant’s career progress while identifying individuals who truly deserve to be in leadership positions.
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 which defines a capable software architect.
Image 1 – Thushera Kawdawatta, vice president – Technology, VirtusaPolaris and the chief architect of the Future Architects program
Image 2 – Nishantha Hettiarachchi, senior architect – Technology, VirtusaPolaris and a Future Architects program panelist
Image 3 – Thilina Kularathna, associate software architect, VirtusaPolaris and a participant of the Future Architects program