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How to transform from Development Architect to Solution Architect

By harshikd ·
I am in product development organization for close to 15 years in developing Data Management/Engineering software industry.

I am looking out for a solution/consulting career. I have got some questions during this journey.

A small back ground:
I hailed from a small programmer position at a university while working for a Government Defense Lab. I lead a small team (group of 3) in delivering the product to customer. I even had an opportunity to manage budget, small team and deployment.

After 5 years in the above position, I joined along with small development team for a commercial CAD software development company for developing features in conjunction with Product Management and QA.

8 years back, I moved to my current company. It?s a PDM (Product Data Management) Development & Services Company. Over the years I, along with our team, architected and contributed many key functionalities our customers enjoy. Within the organization I worked as a Developer, Development Lead, and Product Architect. I frequently work with customer in resolving our product deployment, quality and performance issues.

I have nothing to complain about my current position. On compensation wise as well, it looks I am not bad (not good though). I have grown to the possible extent.

Situation:
After all these years of experience, I would like to take myself into next level as a solution development environment - like customizations, solution architecting and begin as a project management career (as I grow myself and as the opportunities come).

Questions
I know the working from a FT Development Lead to Consulting and Solution Development takes certain transformation.

(1) What suggestions are there for me to take up this journey?
(2) What would be the change in the nature of job?
(3) How should I condition my mind for these?
- Consulting, services career,
- Surprises,
- Environment,
- Travel and
- Customer satisfaction
(4) What would be the risks/rewards?
(5) Any other guide lines and suggestions are highly appreciated.

I know what I want to venture into is a very big/competitive world. Your advice will certainly help me like beckoning for a sailing ship.

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