Book Image

Cracking the IT Architect Interview

By : Sameer Paradkar
Book Image

Cracking the IT Architect Interview

By: Sameer Paradkar

Overview of this book

An architect attends multiple interviews for jobs or projects during the course of his or her career. This book is an interview resource created for designers, consultants, technical, solution, domain, enterprise, and chief architects to help them perform well in interview discussions and launch a successful career. The book begins by providing descriptions of architecture skills and competencies that cover the 12 key domains, including 350+ questions relating to these domains. The goal of this book is to cover all the core architectural domains. From an architect’s perspective, it is impossible to revise or learn about all these key areas without a good reference guide – this book is the solution. It shares experiences, learning, insights, and proven methodologies that will benefit practitioners, SMEs, and aspirants in the long run. This book will help you tackle the NFR domain, which is a key aspect pertaining to architecting applications. It typically takes years to understand the core concepts, fundamentals, patterns, and principles related to architecture and designs. This book is a goldmine for the typical questions asked during an interview and will help prepare you for success!
Table of Contents (14 chapters)


An architect typically attends several interviews and discussions for jobs or projects during his or her entire career. There is always a dire need to look up and read multiple books and references before these interviews/discussions so that you stay on top of things. I have had instances of archiving multiple sets of core references just for these interview discussions. I have worked for MNCs and big 4 consulting organizations in the past and have done tons of projects which required me to take up discussions with customers on an ongoing basis. It’s not easy to know beforehand which areas should one focus to for the preparations. In terms of the scope, this books gives a clear and concise picture of what to expect in such interviews and how to prepare for this critical juncture in your career.

From an architect's perspective, it is not possible to revise or learn all these key areas without a good reference artifact. The goal of this title is to cover all the core architectural domains. This artifact will assist the solution, domain and enterprise architects to perform well in their interview discussions and to launch a successful career. This book also tackles the NFR domain which is the key aspect to be addressed while architecting applications.

The interviewers will also be able to leverage this book to make sure they hire a candidate with the right competencies depending on the job requirements. This book contains a broad range of topics relating to design and architecture and is written in a concise way supplemented with diagrams and tables.

This book will also assist all solution and enterprise architects to become competent in their respective areas. Usually, it takes years to understand the core concepts, fundamentals, patterns and principles related to architecture and designs but this artifact is a gold mine that typically discussed during an interview. There will always be a need to work on architecture engagements where an architect may have limited or no expertise, but this book tackles all the critical domain to provide the right guidance for architects be in solution architecture or non-functional requirements or SOA. The best way to fast track this is to read relevant domain and proactively practice these on live projects. It has worked for me, and it will work for you as well. 

This will be like one of those books you will have to retain in your library so that every time there is a discussion coming up you can quickly spend time reading and revisiting the key sections or domains.

The book also includes a probability indicator for each of the question to indicate the likelihood of this being asked during your discussion. The book has close to 14 domains and around 350+ questions covering these domains. Based on my past experience I can only say that you will have more than 80 % of the topics addressed in this book to be coming up in your next interview discussion.

The book is an honest attempt to share with a practitioner, SMEs and aspirants our experiences, learning, insights and proven methodologies that will benefit them in the long run.

All the best 

Q & A breakup

Coverage of the book (expertise gained):

  • This book is a:

    • Is a reference guide for architecture practitioners to help them on various architecture & strategy engagements

    • Is a reference guide for seasoned and aspiring practitioners to guide them for their interview discussions

    • Is a reference guide for interview panels for selecting architects for their practice/units while bringing in standardization in the selection process.

  • More than 350+ questions in 12 domains including a chapter on social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC).

  • Covers all architecture domains including EA (business, data, infrastructure and application), SA, integration, NFRs and security and SOA.

  • Extended coverage from IT Strategy to NFRs domains.

  • The book covers a section on non-functional requirements among other domains.

  • Based on our experience the assurance is that as least 80% of contents will be discussed during a typical architect’s interview.

  • There is a section on advisory domain which is not very easy to find and is generally a product of years of extensive experience.

  • The questions have a probability indicator for all questions. Probability indicator depicts the likely hood of the questions or topic coming up in the discussion may be directly or through’ reference of the work done based on industry maturity, trends, criticality.

  • The book can be selectively read based on the relevant domains

  • The coverage is extensive in terms of depth and breadth of a domains addressed in the title

  • The title has more than 60+ diagrams depicting various scenarios, models and methodologies.

Key concepts that will be covered in the book are:

  • IT strategy and NFR, methodologies, best practices and frameworks

  • Best practices architecting, KPI and success factors

  • Concepts, principles and guidelines for various domains

  • Leadership and architecture governance

  • Enterprise architects IT strategy and NFR, methodologies, best practices and frameworks

  • Common pitfalls to be avoided and patterns to leverage

  • Emerging technologies-social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC)

  • Techniques related to analysis, NFRs and solutioning

  • SOA and integration

  • Techniques, best practices, and patterns for web and enterprise topologies

  • Frameworks and methodologies to evangelize web and enterprise applications

  • Solution architecture Q&A scenarios

  • Techniques, models and case studies

  • Tools, best practices, techniques, and processes

  • Design guidelines used for architecting applications & systems

  • Understand various best practices, principles and patterns

  • Get a holistic view of key concepts, design principles, and patterns related to evangelizing web and enterprise applications

  • Use the book as a reference guide for adopting best practices, standards and design guidelines

  • Concepts, principles, KPI and success factors for various domains

What this book covers

Chapter 1Architects Role and Growth Path, this chapter will describes core architecture skills and competencies, architects role in ICT and consulting industries, architects growth -paths and competency framework.

Chapter 2, IT Strategy and Advisory, this chapter covers the Q&A for IT strategy and advisory domain. Meeting customer needs and demands and creating technology adoption roadmaps is the primary goal/objective for IT strategy engagements. By going through the type of questions asked related to vision, strategy and roadmaps of a company, you’ll be able to describe the key aspects such as best practices and frameworks, Concepts, principles and guidelines

Chapter 3, Enterprise Architecture and Modernization, this chapter covers the Q&A for enterprise architecture and modernization domain. Enterprise architecture is a collection of strategic information that describes business, application, data and infrastructure to operate the business. This also includes mission and goals, business processes, roles, organizational structures, information, applications and systems. The section includes Q&A for the enterprise architecture, application architecture, business architecture, and data architecture, infrastructure and security and architecture governance.

Chapter 4, SOA and Integration, this chapter covers the Q&A for SOA and integration domain. SOA is a set of design principles for building a suite of interoperable, flexible and reusable services based architecture. This section include Q&A for SOA key capabilities, SOA ROI, SOA modernization approaches, SOA entry points, ESB, BPEL, BPM, SOA and security, SOA KPIs, OSIMM, top-down and bottom-up approach, SOA patterns.

Chapter 5, Solution Architecture and Design, this chapter covers the Q&A for solution architecture and design domain. The Q&A covers the following areas JEE framework, OOAD-UML, session management, distributed DB, replication, performance issues, Spring framework, Hibernate, Agile model, MVC and design patterns

Chapter 6, Emerging Technology, this chapter covers the Q&A for emerging technologies which includes big data, cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), analytics, social media, and enterprise mobility.

Chapter 7, Methodologies, Frameworks and NFRs, this chapter covers the Q&A for frameworks and non functional requirements domain.An architecture framework provides principles and practices for creating and using the architecture description of a system. It structures architects' thinking by dividing the architecture description into domains, layers or views, and offers models-typically metrics and diagrams for documenting each view.

This chapter also covers the solutioning of NFRs providing insights into how they will be addressed in the solutioning phase. This section covers key NFRs that are most critical for any project and for each NFR provides the various alternatives pertaining to the solution, the design principle that needs to be applied to achieve the desired outcome for e.g. high availability or scalability or reliability as covered.

Chapter 8, Interview Preparations, this chapter covers interview preparations, competencies and case studies and summary.

Competency Heat-map

Who this book is for

The primary audiences for this title are the gamut of roles starting from IT consultant to chief architect who are responsible to lead and deliver strategic, tactical and operational engagements for fortune 100 customers worldwide. This title is for SMEs with background and competencies in IT advisory, designing and architecture and would like to gain advance and next level skills. The audiences for this book include:

  • Chief and lead architects

  • Enterprise architects

  • Business architects

  • IT strategy and advisory consultants

  • Domains architects (infrastructure, data, application, business and security)

  • Solution architects

  • Technical architects/designers

  • Students-IT and computer science streams

  • Interview panels


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