What is a Salesforce Architect?
Salesforce architects use their knowledge and experience to recommend and design end-to-end solutions to complex customer problems. You will find architects at larger organizations and consulting companies where there is a need to ensure that solutions are designed appropriately and that the company can scale for large numbers of users and data volumes. It is important to note that Salesforce will often be one component, albeit a central component, of a solution in an enterprise IT landscape. To be effective, therefore, an architect needs not only to be familiar with Salesforce, but also how Salesforce will fit in and integrate with the other systems in an organization. The position requires high-level knowledge of the complete set of Salesforce clouds, products, and features, as well as other commonly used technologies and systems used in a company (e.g., AWS, Active Directory, ESBs, ETL, APIs, SAP) to design appropriate solutions.
How much can a Salesforce Architect earn?
A Salesforce Architect can earn XXX according to the
What does a Salesforce Architect do?
An architect will typically start by analyzing the organization’s current architecture and determine a roadmap to reach an appropriate target state. This can involve simplifying the IT landscape by retiring legacy systems, evaluating applications for consolidation or replacement, and considering if and how the Salesforce platform can contribute. The architect will lead architectural discussions with senior management, contribute to discovery workshops, and make major design decisions. A Salesforce architect will often work with an enterprise architect to ensure the Salesforce solution is in line with the enterprise architecture and roadmap.
An architect needs to ensure appropriate integration patterns are used, solutions will scale and handle large data volumes, and security and performance requirements are met. The architect is also responsible for making sure data storage will meet regulatory requirements.
Architects are masters at the whiteboard, diagramming solutions, ensuring the customer and project teams understand the solution, and documenting architecture landscape diagrams and decisions in design documents.
An architect not only deals with the design but also oversees implementations, determines environmental and release strategies, ensures best practices are followed, and acts as advisors to project teams when they have issues and unexpected obstacles.
What skills and experience should a Salesforce Architect have?
Both solutions and technical architects are some of the most skilled workers in the Salesforce ecosystem because they have knowledge that extends across multiple development platforms. The required technical skills and experience will differ from employer to employer but may include some or all of the following:
- Extensive experience creating the solution design and architecture for complex Salesforce implementations.
- Experience across the full life cycle for a number of large and complex Salesforce projects that included several clouds (e.g. Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Experience Cloud) and integrations with external systems and other cloud platforms, such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure.
- Experience and knowledge of enterprise and Salesforce integration patterns, including SOAP/REST web services, APIs, batch processes, connectors, middleware, etc., and when to use each one.
- Knowledge and experience in APEX, Lightning Web Components, VisualForce, ANT, and Visual Studio Code tools.
- Knowledge and understanding of the Salesforce development platform and best practices.
- Knowledge and understanding of current architectural design patterns, standards, technologies, and techniques.
- Project management experience using the Agile delivery methodology.
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field, which could be engineering, computer science (for a technical architect), or business (for a solutions architect).
- Salesforce certifications, including Application Architect and System Architect.
You might assume that only the most advanced developers become architects, but this is untrue: Despite the nine certifications and review-board approval required to receive the covered Certified Technical Architect designation, which only a small number of people in the world have, you do not need to be a fantastic coder to be a solutions architect, a technical architect, or even a CTA. You do need to read and understand code, and you need to understand best practices and code patterns.
General Business and Soft Skills for a Salesforce Architect
Salesforce architects are the IT professionals responsible for designing solutions that solve business challenges and allow businesses to become more efficient. As a result, the general business and soft skills necessary of this key team member include:
Architects solve immediate challenges but must keep the solution in perspective in terms of an existing IT landscape, longer-term technology trends, and the strategic goals of an organization. That said, in addition to being big-picture thinkers, architects must also have enough attention to detail to rapidly learn and take advantage of new concepts, business models, and technologies.
Strong relationship-management skills
Architects are both internal and external facing, meaning they manage projects and the team members working on those projects, as well as serve the end-user. To best do this, architects need rapport with both the internal team and the end-users who are using the platforms that architects are developing.
Architects need to develop strong interpersonal relationships with technical audiences, non-technical audiences, and senior management. They also work with people in a variety of positions, including technical leads, junior developers, executives, and end-users—and they need to change their language accordingly. The necessary skills include strong stakeholder management and communication skills, excellent presentation skills, and excellent written and oral communication skills.
Being a team player
Architects solve problems for the team, and they take on leadership positions when necessary. As a result, they need to be able to both take the initiative to solve problems and work with team leads, developers, business analysts, and administrators. To best balance these skills, they need to show up as helpful, collaborative, and working toward a common goal.
Tips to get a job as a Salesforce Architect
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a Salesforce architect, consider the following tips:
First and foremost, clarify whether your experience and interests are better suited to a solution or technical architect role.
Keep in mind that architects can come from different backgrounds. You can have a background as an administrator, business analyst, or developer. Regardless, if you have a passion for considering the bigger picture and translating business problems into solutions involving the Salesforce platform, there is a path to follow. That said, be sure you know and understand the different paths, as well as the differences in expectations between a solution architect and technical architect so that you can communicate how your background and interests align with the role for which you are applying.
Remember that becoming an architect requires knowledge and experience.
You do not need twenty years of IT experience, but you do need to gain experience in a variety of scenarios and technologies, and this experience can come from the environment that you are in. For example a Salesforce consultant or someone working in a large organization using multiple Salesforce products will be exposed to more projects than someone working in a small or medium-sized organization.
Set a goal and plan how you will study and obtain experience in the domain knowledge areas that Salesforce has defined.
Salesforce has defined a path to becoming recognized as a certified technical architect. Follow the steps, build up your knowledge, and work your way toward your goal. Complete the designer certifications and earn the application and system architect credentials as milestones.
If you are not in an architectural role currently, volunteer to work on projects that need architectural input and contribute where you can to gain experience.
A Salesforce architect is expected to be able to present a solution using some key artifacts, including a system landscape diagram, data model, and role hierarchy. Practice and improve your skills in developing these.
Attend Salesforce events, like World Tour and Dreamin. Get involved in the online Trailblazer community and join online collaboration groups. Complete superbadges. Go to user group meetings. You could meet someone who knows of an opportunity that could help you.
Look for opportunities in your current company and role to apply architectural domain knowledge.
For example, if there is an upcoming integration project, study for the integration architecture certification and volunteer to contribute to the integration project so that you are able to apply your knowledge.
Develop an architect’s mindset.
Check out what Amit Malik, a global master instructor with Salesforce, says about developing an architect’s mindset.